As Adam Murray and Darrell Clarke go head to head on Saturday, the Mansfield Town boss said he was happy to see football giving young English coaches a chance.
Murray, who was briefly the youngest manager in the Football League less than a year ago, has made a fine start to his first full season while former Mansfield Town star Clarke has guided Bristol Rovers back into the League at the first attempt and also made a decent start.
“I know Clarkey well and he’s done awesome in what he’s done at Bristol,” said Murray.
“He’s got them out the Conference and they’ve had a super start to the season. He is a young coach, modern, he comes out the box a little bit and he’s not scared to change his formation.
“So we are expecting a bit of a change in formation from him, and we will combat that. It will be a tough game but we are going into it with confidence. We have some very good strengths in our team and we feel that if we are on it on the day, we can give anybody a game.
“We go into it with confidence, not arrogance, and we want to win.”
With the English game’s fascination of appointing foreign coaches, Murray felt it was heartening to see home-grown talent given a go.
He said: “There are more younger coaches and managers getting a chance which is what’s it’s all about – you need an opportunity, and I think the energy around young coaches and managers rubs off on your group. That’s what I’ve found.
“Obviously people will tarnish us with lacking experience, but you get that from going through good times and bad times and, for me, I’ve wanted to experience everything myself and learn from the good times and learn from the bad times.
“I am doing that. I don’t have the knowledge of a 50-60-year-old manager, but at the minute I don’t want that. I want to learn it myself and make my own decisions.
“Last season and this season when I’ve wondered how would an experienced manager look at that or do that I’ve rung someone and asked the question.
“They’ve given me their answer and I’ve analysed that and decided if it’s in line with mine and what I’d take out of that answer and what I don’t think is right. Ultimately I want to be my own man. A lot of young coaches and managers I speak to are of the same frame of mind.
“Even speaking to Teddy Sheringham after the game, he said people had told him he needed to bring in an experienced head who’d done it and who could guide him.
“But he said the same thing – he wants to learn on his own. He will make mistakes like we all do. He will go through great times like we all do, and learn from them.
“Clarkey is the same – he’s had good times and bad times and he will have learned from them. He has put a very organised, efficient team together and I’ve no doubt that this season they will be successful.”
Murray added: “For our country it has to be that way. You look at the England team the other night and it was full of youth.
“The modern game is moving forward rapidly and the ideas that are coming out now, the tactical thought process of coaches and managers now has completely changed.
“Loads of fans may not like it, but 4-4-2 is going. Teams will play 4-4-2, but a modern version of it. The out and out winger and two barn door centre forwards are gone.
“Formations are now more fluid and they move within the game. Teams go from formation to formation within 20 minutes, sometimes not even knowing they are doing it.
“That’s the game now, it’s exciting and for English football the more of our own and the more young blood we can push through the better.”