Tykes: ‘Calm’ Barnsley boss Robins not a man to be kept waiting

Barnsley FC manager: Mark Robins.
Barnsley FC manager: Mark Robins.
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BARNSLEy manager Mark Robins is a man who knows his own mind as well as anyone in football, says one of his former bosses.

As Robins decides whether to stay or go at Oakwell, John Deehan described his old player as “a strong character” with all the qualities needed to succeed in the game.

Deehan was assistant manager at Norwich City when Robins signed from Manchester United for £800,000 in 1992.

And then he took over the top job after Mike Walker moved to Everton following the Canaries third place finish in the inaugural Premier League season.

Deehan said Robins always had faith in his own ability as a player and displayed the attributes of becoming a manager when his career was over.

“Mark is a very strong character,” he revealed.

“So it didn’t surprise me when he went into management and has gone on to do well.

“He is very calm and calculated but I can imagine that he’d also be ruthless when he needs to be.

“He’s a confident boy and would back himself.”

Deehan, aged 53, is a man who knows the local football scene well. He was a player at Barnsley in 1990, had a season as assistant to Steve Bruce at Bramall Lane later in the decade and can also count Owls boss Gary Megson as one of his assistants at Norwich.

Robins’ professional attitude was evident from Deehan’s first meeting with the player. He said: “We’d arranged a flight down from Manchester to Cambridge but Mike Walker had some business to attend to. The flight was due at 7.30pm and we got there a couple of minutes after. Mark was already waiting and the first thing he said to us was ‘you’re late’.

“It goes to show his professionalism. He’d always represent the club well.

“I’d spoken with Steve Bruce about him before we signed him and he was very positive about Mark.

He’s a solid character and a likeable lad.”