Allen: My physio role won’t be affected by Pompey promotion

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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There will be no selecting the Pompey team or coaching on the training ground from Steve Allen.

After all, for a quarter of a century he has been employed as a physio.

A skill set which only last week was recognised with a job offer from a Premier League club.

Granted, these days he is combining his role with the duties of assistant manager after being presented with new responsibilities in Guy Whittingham’s backroom.

An intriguing appointment to those on the outside but the 46-year-old clearly has his manager’s nod of approval.

Certainly Allen recognises his remit primarily is to ensure Pompey’s players are fit and able to emerge from the treatment room for duty.

In terms of coaching, the Blues intend to recruit a first-team coach to fulfil that side of Whittingham’s set-up.

Meanwhile, Allen’s newly-created dual position will see him involved in recruitment and becoming the Blues boss’ right-hand man.

It is something he has largely carried out in an unofficial capacity since the turn of the year – and he’s relishing maintaining that.

He said: ‘A lot of my responsibilities I have been doing anyway and have done for managers over time.

‘I know the lower leagues, I understand players in the lower leagues and hopefully I can help Guy with that.

‘It is a dual role which encompasses other things but I don’t see a problem.

‘My primary aim is to keep players fit.

‘In the second half of the season it helped they were all fit so we had a consistent team that was successful.

‘I’m not going to be replacing that, that is what I am about, that is what my career is about really.

‘The other bits will fall into place naturally.

‘In training, normally there is someone from the medical side on the side of the pitch anyway for emergencies.

‘The coaching side and managing the players is completely Guy’s responsibility but if he wants to talk about things of course I am there.

‘I am trying to take all the other bits and pieces away from him and let him be successful with the team, that is the idea.

‘Guy picks the team, I don’t pick the team. He will ask for an opinion and, like all the staff, I will give an opinion, but always the team selection is completely down to the manager – that isn’t to do with me.

‘He might say to me “what do you think about playing 4-3-3 away from home or 4-4-2?” and I might express an opinion but, at the end of the day, he has the final say.

‘He is the manager, he picks the team and decides which way we play.

‘I just help him get players to fit into the system he wants to play that we feel are the right age for this club.’

Allen has been a physio since joining Wimbledon in 1987.

He then worked for Crystal Palace, Cardiff, West Ham and Charlton. In addition to a degree in physiotherapy, he has a degree in sports science and a Uefa A coaching licence.

But he does not want to be a manager in future.

Allen added: ‘I suppose it is rare in football for this to happen.

‘A couple of physios have gone on to be managers, that has happened, but I don’t want to do that.

‘I am happy in the role in assisting the manager for us to be successful.’