The 25th annual FOX Summer Special will be on sale before tomorrow’s game and is in the shops…
It features: An exclusive interview with Muzzy Izzet; a Review of the remarkable 2014-15 season; a look at our new kit; Twitter Watch; a Guide to the Premier League 2015-16; Farewell to Nigel Pearson; and Esteban Cambiasso; The Other Great Escape; The Fox Awards 2014-15; The Jon Holmes column; Foxed in the Head’s Bournemouth memories; John Hutchinson looks at City during World War II; the Best of Bentley’s Roof and your letters; and Fortysomething on Holiday…
The most fun you can have for £3.
Muzzy Izzet Interview extract…
FOX: Martin O’Neill’s four and a half seasons are rightly looked back on as a golden age, were you aware of how special it was at the time?
MI: It felt great. It was a special feeling knowing that on our day we could beat anyone. As soon as Martin left I never felt like that again. Our mindset under Martin was never ‘oh we might struggle today’. Never ever. We approached every single game home and away thinking we could win it.
With other managers I have played for there were days when it felt like a draw would be good enough. If you start playing for a draw, or thinking a draw is okay then you will start losing.
FOX: There were many good performances back then, but one match that stands out is the 5-2 win at home to Sunderland when Stan Collymore got a hat-trick. Everyone thought that it could be the start of something even better, but then Emile Heskey left for Liverpool soon after. How was that from your perspective?
MI: I think for the first time I actually thought ‘this is easy. All the hard work we were doing in midfield, we now had two players up front who could cause real problems for the opposition defence and score goals. It is so hard to score at that level. To have someone banging goals in takes a lot of pressure off you defensively and changes the shape of the game. If you put a team under pressure for 25 minutes and you don’t take any of your chances, then you really feel the pressure when they start coming at you. That day it seemed like we were going to score every time we attacked. The other team have to change the way they are playing and they lose their shape and they become easier to play against and you can pick them off.
I thought then blimey if we can keep this team together what will next season be like? But it wasn’t to be.
FOX: Martin left for Celtic that summer, did you know that was likely to happen?
MI: Well, because he was doing so well he was always going to be linked with jobs and there were constant rumours. There was that game against Spurs when he was supposed to off to Leeds but he didn’t go. I didn’t appreciate how much the Celtic job meant to him with the Irish connection, but obviously it did and he couldn’t turn it down. It made it a little bit easier to take that he didn’t go to another Premier League club.
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