Trust is an important trait for a manager. You can prepare your teams on the training ground, outline your tactics before the match, but once the eleven players walk across that white line, the coach has to trust them to implement what he has been saying to them all week.
Yet, it isn’t something that all managers have to the same degree. Some like to have as much control as possible. Conservative managers set up their teams not to lose and limit the amount of self-expression their players have, limiting the number of mistakes and increasing the chances of their methods being implemented to the letter.
Others are different and some even put their full faith in young players despite their relative inexperience on the big stage. Sometimes their faith in youth comes off and other times it does not. Soon, Steve Bruce may have very little choice but to place his full faith in some of our most inexperienced and youngest players.
To be fair to the manager, he has put faith in some youngsters. Keinan Davis is a prominent example. However, it isn’t something that comes naturally to him. In the second half of the season, it was clear that the manager would only go for players he knew could be trusted to deliver his instructions on the field.
The absence of Keinan and Andre Green (who had returned to fitness by the end of the campaign) in the final stages of the season was telling. Bruce’s conservative instincts had taken hold once again.
With rumours of players like Robert Huth, Gareth McAuley and other old timers being lined up as potential signings, it seems the man in charge is still reluctant to change tack despite it being abundantly clear that there is a group of young players ready to be tried and tested in the Championship.
He may use players like Calum O’Hare, Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, Easah Suliman, Jake Doyle-Hayes and Corey Blackett-Taylor but will he show his full faith in them, and inspire them to excel in the league next season? It won’t be long before we’ll find out.