Makin backs Royle to deliver success

CHRIS Makin knows what winning is all about but he would love to add a cup-winners medal to his promotion achievements, writes Derek Davis.A Division One championship medal at Sunderland followed promotion to the Premiership with Oldham, under a certain Joe Royle and Willie Donachie.

CHRIS Makin knows what winning is all about but he would love to add a cup-winners medal to his promotion achievements, writes Derek Davis.

A Division One championship medal at Sunderland followed promotion to the Premiership with Oldham, under a certain Joe Royle and Willie Donachie. Makin remembers precisely the style which the duo employed at Oldham which saw them reach three semi-finals, one cup final and clinch promotion.

The Manchester-born defender went on to Marseilles and then the Stadium of Light before his switch to Ipswich eventually saw him reunited with 'The Odd Couple'.

The partnership off the pitch is as strong as ever with Joe and Willie sharing house duties, (Joe is Oscar) and on the training ground the division of duties (Willie does the more technical coaching) works well.


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Makin said: "It has not changed at all. They have had success everywhere. They got Oldham promoted, they got Man City promoted, hopefully they can work their magic on us, which they seem to be doing. You can see about the squad how much more relaxed the atmosphere is, yet it is working."

The 30-year-old has shuffled across the defensive back line. After originally joining as a right-back, he now finds himself at left-back but could return on the right side tonight, sharing duties with Fabian Wilnis with Matt Richards starting on the left.

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He said: "I'm not bothered which position I play just as long as I'm playing."

He also has some empathy, and sympathy, with new boys Drissa Diallo, Georges Santos and Kelvin Davis, as they bed in. He said: "Wherever you join a new club all eyes are on you. People are waiting for your first mistake and to see how you do; that is normal. But they will get used to it and settle down."

Although keen to play every minute of every game, Makin appreciates some players will be given a rest tonight against the Third Division minnows. He said: "It is not to show any disrespect to Kidderminster but we do have a reasonably large squad so the manager does need to change it around a little sometimes. But it will only be one or two changes.

"The league is clearly our priority. But if we can get a good run going in the League Cup and use some of the so-called fringe players or the young kids then it will be good experience for them."

Saturday's soaring temperatures, which reached 98f in the centre of the pitch, left all the players drained and Makin welcomes a brief respite after experiencing something even playing in southern France could not compare with.

He said: "I have never played in anything as hot as that before, even in the south of France.

"Both set of players showed their stamina. They have a good young set of players and kept going right to the end but then so did we. The heat had a major effect on the game and perhaps that showed throughout the country as it was not perhaps a true reflection of how the season will go."

The unpredictability of results, as shown on Saturday, adds credence to the belief that this will be the hardest year yet to get out of Division One.

Makin admits: "The league is about the toughest to call ever. I can't really see anyone running away with it, going by the results at the weekend which can be deceiving, what with the heat and first-day jitters. West Brom had a massive comedown from the Premiership, losing 4-1 at Walsall."

But he also knows a man or two who know exactly what it takes to get to cup finals and win promotion.

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