Steven Pressley admits he unwittingly took a leaf out of Joey Barton and Steve McClaren’s book after becoming Pafos boss


New Pafos manager Steven Pressley admits he unwittingly took a leaf out of Joey Barton and Steven McClaren’s book after moving to Cyprus.

Former Rangers midfielder Barton and ex-England boss McClaren were mocked for adopting French and Dutch accents during television interviews in the course of their respective spells abroad.

Pressley, who took over the reins at the Cyta Championship club last week, is hoping to overcome the language barrier with his multinational squad but admits his family have given him a hard time for the way he now speaks to them on the phone.

The former Scotland, Hearts and Celtic defender said: “It’s funny because I have to speak a little bit of broken, pidgin English and the problem is that I’m doing that constantly during the day – and then I phone my wife and children in the evening and I continue to do it. 

“They’re saying on the phone, ‘dad, we’re not foreign’. 

“Although I’m a slow talker at the best of times, you continue to do that when you phone home.

“It’s a multinational team and we have so many players from all around the globe but I have to embrace that and find ways to manage players from different cultures, different environments and understand them.

“It’s good for me, it’s really, really good for me as a coach and it’s an amazing environment to coach in.

“This was a really good opportunity, a new challenge, a new culture and an ambitious club so that were many things that attracted me to the job.”

Pressley, whose second game in charge is against Aris on Tuesday following last Wednesday’s narrow 1-0 loss to title hopefuls Anorthosis Famagusta, admits coaching in sunnier climes makes a pleasant change – but insists it is no holiday for him, assistant manager Neil MacFarlane and first team coach Brian Reid.

Pressley, who had been out of working since resigning as Fleetwood manager 18 months ago, added: “I love being on the grass and I couldn’t ask for a better environment.

“You can’t have any excuses for the players not being receptive in training. 

“The temperature over here just now would be like a nice Scottish summer’s day. 

“In the hotel we’re staying in until we find apartments, there’s people out sunbathing. 

“It’s lovely and it’s a nice way of life but I’m not here for the lifestyle, I’m here for the football and in the first four days of training we were not in our beds before 2am in the morning because we’ve got so much to do, so many things to organise. 

“The club is ambitious, it has huge potential but there are a lot of things we must improve and sort so there will be a lot of hard work.”

Pressley, meanwhile, admits he hopes to keep the passionate Pafos supporters onside.

He added: “Some of the top clubs have got exceptionally passionate supporters, it’s a different culture. 

“It’s a culture that if you’re not performing, the supporters will wait on the bus and express their disappointment. 

“But it’s going to be great, it’s going to be an eye-opener to me.”