Gould: It's the wife's fault
Former Bristol Rovers manager Bobby Gould has revealed how his wife's faith in his ability to keep cash- strapped Weymouth in the Blue Square Premier persuaded him to take on a difficult job.
Gould took over from Alan Lewer at the Wessex Stadium on Easter Monday after a chance meeting with Weymouth chairman, journalist Ian Ridley – now in his second spell in charge – at a recent Wales international.
And Gould, who had been working for commercial radio station TalkSport, has explained how his wife of 42 years, Marjorie, was instrumental in persuading him to return to the management game almost five years after an ill-fated spell at Cheltenham Town came to an end.
He said: "I met Ian Ridley at the Wales v Finland match when I was covering it for TalkSport. I told him I was surprised that he had gone back to the madhouse and said that if he needed any advice all he had to do was pick the phone up.
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"A few days later, I was sitting down to watch television when the phone rang. It was Ian and he started talking about how when I was manager of Wimbledon (for whom he won the FA Cup in 1988) I asked Don Howe to come and help me out.
"Ian said that was like asking Miss World for a dance at the disco. I wasn't sure where he was going with that and then he said he would like me to come and dance with him at Weymouth.
"He told me to think about it and I sat down with my wife to discuss it. We sat at the table and I showed her the league table and the first thing she said was: 'I think you can keep them up.'
"I thought if my wife has got faith in me to do it that is good enough for me and I decided to give it a go."
Weymouth have been in freefall since a shortage of cash led to an exodus of senior players in February. The Terras had been on the verge of the play-offs prior to that, but, in their first game following the mass departures, a youth-team squad suffer ed a devastating 9-0 defeat against Rushden & Diamonds. A run of 11 straight defeats saw them plummet into the bottom four.
Gould, who admits he had been thinking about returning to the management game, agreed to sign a short-term deal until the end of the season.
"It is a tough job, no doubt," he said. "It is not easy when you take on a side that hasn't scored a goal for over 700 minutes and has not won a game in 11 attempts."
He took charge for the first time against Forest Green Rovers on Easter Monday and stopped the rot by guiding the side to a first point in almost two months.
"To be on the horrific run of form that they had been on is some depression," he said. "To get a first goal in over a month and draw the game will act as a massive boost."
So, would keeping Weymouth in the Blue Square Premier mean an extended stay at the Wessex Stadium beyond the end of the season?
"I am too long in the tooth to start thinking any further ahead than the next game," said Gould, now 62.
"Ian and I will have a look at everything after the last game at Wrexham, but you never know what can happen in football because it is a game that takes you off on so many different tangents."