Cotts isn’t out to win popularity contest

Sean O'Driscoll, left, and Steve Cotterill
Sean O'Driscoll, left, and Steve Cotterill
Conor Chaplin could start againsyt Plymouth. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey v Plymouth: pre-match talking points

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Brian Stock is right – Steve Cotterill is probably not the most liked man in football.

And, no doubt, he’s not the nicest man to be stood alongside on the touchline on matchdays either.

Does the way he’s seen by others in the game bother the Pompey boss, though? Not a bit.

Saturday’s touchline spat with Sean O’Driscoll was all in day’s work for Cotterill.

The toing and froing between the usually placid Doncaster boss and his opposite drew comment from the home side’s captain.

Stock had a pop at Cotterill and Ian Woan for their conduct on the touchline at the Keepmoat Stadium.

The fact the usually placid Doncaster manager was driven to distraction by the Blues boss means it was job done, however.

There is history between the former Bournemouth team-mates, with O’Driscoll refusing to join Cotterill for a post-match drink back at Fratton Park in November.

And a man who burns with the kind of intensity that the 46-year-old Pompey boss has, is not going to forget such a rebuttal in a hurry.

Cotterill’s default setting on a matchday is boiling point and it doesn’t take much for that to overflow.

That’s simply the nature of the beast. He’s a man of extreme emotions.

Catch Cotterill in more relaxed moments and you couldn’t wish to come across a more accommodating and thoughtful character.

A laugh and friendly banter is never far away at the training ground.

Each action is for a purpose, however, whether it’s a wind-up at the club’s Eastleigh base when some light relief is needed or rubbing an opponent up the wrong way to knock them out of their stride.

Some will not see the benefit of trying such manoeuvres – it’s simply not part of their make-up.

Cotterill is a deep thinker on these issues, though, and nothing will be off-limits if he perceives it as gaining an edge – check him out the next time the assistant referee is in earshot of the technical area, for example.

His approach may not help him win friends but influencing people is a different matter.

Some may find the behaviour of the Pompey boss at times as neurotic. Others certainly see him as arrogant.

Maybe these are interpretations of the very same qualities which set the best managers apart, though.

Either way, he isn’t going to be losing sleep about it anytime soon.