Leadership comes in all shapes and sizes and nowhere is that more prevalent than in football management. Household names, big egos and the adoration of thousands of fans each weekend makes managing these athletes one of the most challenging jobs in sport.

For former Blackpool and Crystal Palace boss Ian Holloway though, the most important trait any leader can possess is authenticity, “otherwise it’ll never work”, he tells UCFB exclusively.

YouTube video

The Bristolian said: “I remember when I first started [as a manager] I didn’t know whether to wear a suit or a tracksuit. There’s a choice, isn’t there? What type of manager do you want to be? I found with a tracksuit on I got too involved on the side lines, so in the end I wore my suit and tie and represented the club.”

One thing that Holloway can never be accused of is not being true to himself. Famed for his man-management and motivational capabilities, he took Blackpool and Palace into the Premier League and QPR into the Championship. Proof, as if it was needed, that he’s also a pretty decent coach too.

Holloway said: “As a leader you’ve got to try and get people on board with what you’re saying and get their focus. Everybody is different and an individual, so you’ve got to try and find a way into that person.”

He added: “You’ve got to find your own way.”