Sky Sports meets Northampton Town manager Aidy Boothroyd as he looks to cap a remarkable season with promotion to League One.
Last Updated: 08/04/13 10:21am
As the race for promotion hots up we take a look at the job Aidy Boothroyd has done at Sixfields with Northampton Town.
Boothroyd, who saved Northampton from relegation last season, has overseen a massive overhaul of the squad at Sixfields and he hopes it will end in success in guiding the club to promotion from League Two.
The 42-year-old has forged for himself a reputation as one of the best young managers in the UK after masterminding Watford's rise to the Premier League at the age of 35 in his first managerial role.
Boothroyd had a big job on his hands when he took over at Northampton in November 2011 with the club languishing just above the League Two dropzone and tipped to fall out of the Football League.
However, Boothroyd was able to lead Northampton to survival last season before going on to transform the club's fortunes and inspire an unlikely bid for promotion.
Northampton are currently third in League Two, holding the last automatic promotion spot and Boothroyd admits winning promotion would be quite an achievement considering where the club was when he first took over.
Boothroyd, who is a contender for the Manager of the Year award, believes the key to success in management these days is man-management skills and how to deal with players at all levels.
"I have always believed good man-management skills are vital for any manager to be a success in order to get the best out of your players," Boothroyd told Sky Sports.
"In my view, management is about working with what you have available in order to improve performance and productivity.
"I believe it can be done by setting the culture on the base of good key core values, development, care, respect, honesty and hard work.
"The players have been great for me at Northampton. They are a fantastic bunch of lads to work with and they success we are having this season is down to their hard work."
Boothroyd reduced the squad size to a more workable 18-man unit from a top heavy squad of 34 and the manager is thankful for the support shown by Northampton chairman David Cardoza.
"The chairman is an easy man to work for and I owe him a lot for enabling me to reduce the size of the squad and bring in players who I feel could add to the side," added Boothroyd.
"I am happy with the set-up with the squad now having 18 rather than 34 players and I think it has worked well for us this season in that all the lads are fighting for places in the side.
"To be in contention for promotion is testament to all the hard work of the coaching staff and players."
Boothroyd's overall record stands up against the best managers in the country - with the Bradford-born boss amassing a high win ratio throughout his managerial career.
If Northampton manage to pass the 70-point mark this season, which they are well placed to do with 68 points already on the board, it will mean Boothroyd's average points tally per season in the Football League is 76 points which he has achieved in the Championship with Watford and also in League One with Colchester - the equivalent to a play-off place in any of the three divisions.
Despite his success Boothroyd admits he is always looking to continue his development and is keen to tap into the knowledge of other people performing at the highest level in other sports.
"I am a thinker of the game and I believe we can learn a lot and pick up knowledge by looking at how things are done in other sports," continued Boothroyd.
"I am interested in sports science and I have been down to see the McLaren F1 team and see how they work.
"I also plan to meet [British Cycling chief] Dave Brailsford to try and find out what he has done that makes him so successful in his field.
"Plans are also in place to meet acclaimed founder and President of Milan Lab Jean-Pierre Meersseman to study how he was so successful in managing the fitness of players and prolonging the careers of world-class players at such a European giant like AC Milan.
"If I can pick up any little thing from what makes them successful that can only improve me and in the process that will be to the benefit of Northampton Town football club."