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Cherries: Mitchell prefers Paul to Paolo
CHAIRMAN Eddie Mitchell has revealed he would rather work with Paul Groves than Paolo Di Canio as the fiery Italian is “too similar to me”.
Mitchell’s comments come as the chalk-and-cheese managers prepare to send their respective teams into battle when Cherries meet Swindon tomorrow.
Di Canio, who led the Robins to the League Two title last season, has courted more than his fair share of controversy, both during his playing and management career.
In comparison, Midlander Groves, who was appointed permanently in May, comes across as measured, thoughtful and reserved and is never likely to hit the headlines.
Asked for his opinion on the pair by the Daily Echo, Mitchell said: “I know Paul but I don’t know Di Canio, other than what I have seen in the press. From what I have seen and heard, I would rather have somebody who lets the players do more of the talking for the team.
“Their mannerisms are completely different and I prefer Paul’s. His give a better atmosphere for everybody in and around the team. I am sure they are both hell-bent on winning but it is how you go about displaying that.
“Di Canio certainly seems more outward going and does things off the cuff, similar to myself, while Paul is more calculated and would always be my favoured choice.”
Di Canio was the centre of attention earlier this month following his public dressing-down of Wes Foderingham after the Swindon goalkeeper had reacted angrily to being substitute just 20 minutes into their 4-1 defeat at Preston.
“We are all different,” added Mitchell. “Some people hold in their emotions and others let them out. I don’t think there is anything wrong with the way Di Canio is but I would prefer to work with somebody who is the opposite of me.
“I think you get the best of both worlds then. If you have two very similar people, you could end up never seeing eye to eye. There are no ‘yes men’ at our club and I don’t get my own way. But if you jump into things without much thought, you could end up going down the wrong road.”
Mitchell, who believes Cherries will be the underdogs at the County Ground , enlisted the services of Harry Redknapp in an advisory capacity earlier this month.
The move came after Groves had come under fire from sections of the supporters following an indifferent start to the season.
“One person doesn’t win you a game of football and it is a team effort,” said Mitchell. “Paul can’t go on the pitch and play and can only do what he can before games. There is a fine line between winning and drawing, as we have seen already this season.
“I judge Paul on the amount of work he puts in and the amount of thought that goes in. He leaves no stone unturned. Harry has been there and done it and, in his opinion, we are going about our business the right way and results will come..”
Simon Francis (knee), Marc Pugh (thigh), Harry Arter (knee), Richard Hughes (thigh) and Lee Barnard (ankle) are all doubts ahead of Cherries’ trip to Swindon, while Shaun MacDonald (calf) is out.
Cherries: (from) Jalal, Francis, Addison, Elphick, Daniels, Arter, Partington, O’Kane, Pugh, Grabban, Tubbs, Zubar, Cook, McDermott, Fogden, Thomas, McQuoid, Fletcher, Hughes, Barnard, Collins.
Robins: (from) Foderingham, Thompson, Ward, McCormack, McEveley, Ritchie, Navarro, Miller, Roberts, Williams, Benson, Bedwell, Devera, Bessone, Ferry, De Vita, A Rooney, Collins.