Ex-Motherwell boss Black: Blackburn experience worse than Barnes’ Celtic stint

Eric Black says he has never experienced the level of negativity that occurred during his time as Blackburn Rovers assistant manager.

Eric Black says he has never experienced the level of negativity that occurred during his time as Blackburn Rovers assistant manager.

The 49-year old former Motherwell and Coventry City boss was part of the ruckus at Ewood Park which involved Steve Kean and Henning Berg under the ownership of Indian company Venky’s.

Black was in Kean’s corner before he took over as interim manager and then was under Berg who met his demise after just 10 matches. Black experienced something similar when he was John Barnes’ number two at Celtic in 1999 and 2000 but he feels this is the worst treatment of people he has ever been privy to.

“I’ve seen a lot before but this was a whole new level. Usually it never goes past the stage of fans expressing their unhappiness after a few results. The board talk, they make a decision, a change comes,” he told the Daily Record.

“That was pretty much what happened at Celtic. The timescale is usually relatively short. The manager comes under pressure and sometimes he gets the results to get you out of it, sometimes he doesn’t.

“But when the board at Blackburn backed Steve the vitriol went to a level I’ve never seen before. The negativity in the ground was unbelievable.

“There were other reasons why the fans felt the way they did but it made it doubly hard to get a positive vibe among the players.

“People always say in football you can shut it all out and to a certain extent that’s true. It’s difficult but you just get in your car, travel to work and get on with things.

“Usually you don’t have to wait long because all you’re doing is looking for the next opportunity to turn the ship around – even if it’s the Titanic!

“It’s not six months before you see the outcome of your efforts – it’s a week and you’re quickly assessed.

“So all you can do is go out and try to prove you’re good enough at what you do to make a difference. But sometimes even that’s not enough.”

 
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