Blogs & Opinion


League Two Spotlight:

Righting wrongs

As part of skysports.com's League Two spotlight, Chris Burton catches up with Hereford United defender Andy Todd.

League Two Spotlight - League Two Spotlight Posted 31st October 2011 view comments

When skysports.com caught up with Andy Todd over the summer, the experienced defender made it clear that he had no plans to hang up his boots.

The 37-year-old had seen a disappointing spell at Oldham come to an unsatisfactory conclusion and he felt as though he still had a few issues to address before he brought the curtain down on his career.

Andy Todd: Is enjoying his football again and hopes to earn an extended stay at Hereford

Andy Todd: Is enjoying his football again and hopes to earn an extended stay at Hereford

He was without a club at the time, having dropped into the free agent market, but was confident that he could still do a job in the Football League if given an opportunity.

It has taken him slightly longer than he would have hoped to be given that chance, but the former Blackburn and Derby man is currently turning out for Hereford United.

He may be slightly longer in the tooth than he was in his Premier League heyday, but Todd's game is ideally suited to the rough and tumble of life in the fourth tier.

He has never been afraid to put his foot in and gives as much to the collective cause now as he did while gracing English football's top flight in the nineties and noughties.

So keen is he to have one last hurrah, Todd is currently working on a non-contract basis at Edgar Street.

All of the emphasis is on him to catch the eye and prove his worth, with his season now broken down into almost game-by-game segments.

Not that Todd has any issue with that, far from it.

He is just happy to be playing again and is determined to ensure that the final chapter in a career which started out at Middlesbrough way back in 1992, under the guidance of his father Colin, provides a fitting ending.

Credit

Todd told skysports.com's Chris Burton: "It's going well. I have had four games now and we have won three and lost one, on Saturday away at Torquay. I'm just happy to get a chance to play again. Like I said when I last spoke to you, I was disappointed with how it all ended up at Oldham and I didn't really want to finish my career on such a low. I have been given an opportunity to play some games down at Hereford and I'm enjoying it.

"It all came about because, I have to give credit to Micky Adams at Port Vale. I was training down there and he was allowing me to play in the reserves. With that, (Hereford director of football) Gary Peters watched one of the reserve games. I owe a massive thank you to Micky Adams for allowing me to go to Port Vale."

Todd is happy to be offering a helping hand to a club that rather stumbled out of the blocks this season, while keeping himself in the shop window should he find himself back in the free agent market in the not too distant future.

He said: "It's working for both us, both for the club and for myself. It's given them a chance to look at me and see what I'm all about, because of my age and that, and it gives me a chance to play games.

"I am still living in Derby, so it gives me a chance to get myself fit, play some games and if it doesn't work out at Hereford, at least a few other managers have seen me playing. It's probably a good deal for both parties. I have played four games in three weeks. It has put me back in the picture if it doesn't work out."

Todd believes he has been able to slip back into Football League life relatively seamlessly, with League Two presenting him with just the kind of challenge he was after.

He said: "It's tough and I know how tough the league is. It's very competitive. I didn't play the full 90 in the last two games, but I have managed to help out the team in some capacity. When I spoke to you last time I said I felt I could help somebody in some way. Hopefully I can continue to do that somewhere."

Hereford would be wise to keep hold of Todd for the foreseeable future, with the club having embarked on a three-match winning run once he was drafted into their first-team fold.

On a dream start to his time with the Bulls, Todd said: "We played Bradford at home and beat them 2-0, then we had Barnet and beat them 1-0 and then went to Northampton in midweek and beat them 3-1. Unfortunately we couldn't continue the run at Torquay. We didn't play well and we probably didn't deserve to win the game, but if we had got to half-time at 0-0 we could have looked to kick on."

Todd and his Hereford colleagues are hoping the weekend setback at Plainmoor proves to be little more than a bump in the road, with this Saturday seeing them pitched into battle against high-flying Crawley Town.

Todd said: "We have got a tough game on Saturday against Crawley. We have got a bit of a bad taste in our mouths from that result (against Torquay) and we want to get it out against Crawley. We know it's going to be difficult, but the pressure is on them because they are the ones that are expected to go up. We can just go out and have a good go at them.

"They are doing very well. I think they have got a decent budget down there and they were one of the favourites to go up again. Of course it's going to be difficult, but as a squad we are relishing it."

Tricky

Todd has been with the Bulls since 14th October and has seen enough during his time with the club to suggest that they should have enough about them to steer clear of trouble.

"Three weeks ago we were in the bottom two," he said.

"We have managed to crawl out of that but there is still a lot of hard work to be done. We aren't underestimating the job we have got ahead of us. It's tricky climbing away from the bottom of the table but if we can just stay in the league and aim for mid-table, that would be a great achievement for the club. We will just take it one game at a time."

A period of stability would not be the worst thing for the Bulls, with the club having found themselves pushing for promotion or battling against the drop on an almost annual basis in recent years.

Todd said: "They got two promotions pretty quickly under Graham Turner from the Conference up to League One and then back down to League Two. They have had a taste of League One and they obviously know what it takes to get into the division. It's a big task to get back there. We aren't getting carried away, we have won three out of four, and we will just see what happens on Saturday and take it from there."

The man charged with the 'big task' of turning Hereford's fortunes around is 35-year-old Jamie Pitman.

Asked how he has found it working for someone that is actually younger than he is, Todd said: "It's been alright. When I was at Swindon as a young player there, he was there as well. I knew who he was and what he's about. He has got Gary Peters alongside him and Richard Sneekes, and they have got a vast amount of experience between them. He's getting a bit of help from them two."

Coaching is something Todd could be tempted into in the future, but for now his sole focus is on staying fit and getting as many games under his belt as he possibly can.

"I would like to finish this season somewhere," he said.

"I am only on a month's contract at Hereford which takes me up to the game on Saturday against Crawley. Hopefully I can stay for another month or so. I would like to go out on a bit of a high this season. Just playing games is nice for me because, like I say, things didn't work out for me at Oldham how I would have liked. We'll just see what happens."

Comments (1)

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

Mike Knott (Aston Villa fan) says...

Glad to have you aboard the good ship Edgar St, Hopefully with your experience at the backthe way ahead won't be quite so rough, hope you stay a while good luck. the only way is up

Posted 15:56 1st November 2011

  • Page 1 of 1
  • 1

back to top

Other Football Experts:

Latest Posts in Football:

Latest News RSS feeds

Capital One Cup live

Join our blog for live updates from tonight's Capital One Cup quarter-final ties.

Bournemouth v Liverpool live

Live minute-by-minute coverage of the Capital One Cup quarter-final between Bournemouth and Liverpool at Goldsands Stadium.

Tottenham v Newcastle live

Live minute-by-minute coverage of the Capital One Cup quarter-final between Tottenham and Newcastle at White Hart Lane.

Tonev: I'm not a racist

Celtic winger Aleksandar Tonev says he is not a racist despite losing an appeal against his seven-match ban.

McCoist to stay on at Rangers

Ally McCoist will remain as Rangers manager after a 40-minute meeting at Ibrox on Wednesday afternoon.

Features

Where does Thierry Henry rank among Premier League forwards?

Where does Thierry Henry rank among Premier League forwards?

Thierry Henry should be regarded as the greatest centre-forward of the Premier League era, writes Adam Bate...

Six of the best moments from Thierry Henry’s Arsenal career

Six of the best moments from Thierry Henry’s Arsenal career

Thierry Henry has announced his retirement from football and will join Sky Sports as a football expert and ambassador from the start of 2015.

Thierry Henry retires: How the world of football has reacted

Thierry Henry retires: How the world of football has reacted

The world of football has been reacting to the news that Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering playing career.