DWIGHT Yorke has revealed that the Sunderland players continue to call Ricky Sbragia ‘Rick’ as the squad gradually become accustomed to acknowledging the former coach as their manager.
The Trinidad and Tobago international has noted that while Keane insisted that the players addressed him as ‘gaffer’ or ‘boss’, Sbragia has a more subtle way of asserting his authority.
“People sometimes go from a coaching role to a management role and say they would never change, but I think it’s a load of bull,” said Yorke.
“You’re going to have to change a little bit.
“Everyone knows Roy was a serious guy and more intense.
Rick is more laid-back, he takes his job pretty seriously, but he’s a very approachable kind of guy. People have taken to him. By doing that you get results.
“You can play in a manner where you don’t fear making mistakes and getting told off.
I think that’s the only difference.
Yorke says he has been encouraged by Sbragia to take part in discussions with the Sunderland coaches and take charge of some sessions with the strikers.
He added: “I’m still learning a lot from Ricky, looking in from the outside as a player.
I’m looking at how the whole thing works and the concept of being a manager.
“You don’t want to change too much. He’ll feel he’s still ‘Rick’ and I feel I’m still ‘Dwight’, you can still approach me. But you’ve got to approach us in a different manner, not just as a friend like with Rick before. I’m sure he likes people calling him ‘Ricky’ but if you’re the manager it’s a case of stepping up to the plate and saying, I’m the manager now, the gaffer.
“Eventually the players will realise they shouldn’t really be calling him Rick. He’s becoming gaffer now. If I’m the manager, I like to be called the manager.
“They think about it and think, ‘that’s not right’. You try to do the right thing and you know in your heart of hearts calling him ‘Rick’ is not the right thing.”
The veteran midfielder has aspirations to move into management when his playing career comes to an end. But until he has earned the right to be called ‘coach’, Yorke insists on being regarded as just one of the playing staff.
“I refuse to be called ‘coach’. It happens when there’s a bit of banter going but the thing is I’m not registered as a coach. So don’t call me a coach, because I’m not.
“I’m registered with Sunderland Football Club as a player only, it’s not a title that’s been given to me.”
Yorke believes that it will only be a matter of time before Keane’s box office appeal convinces another ambitious chairman to tempt his former colleague back into management.
He said: “People will love that kind of profile from having him as manager, he’s got that aura and presentation about him. But is that what management’s all about? Do you need that little bit more?
“Only Roy can answer that question.
“I’m sure he will have gone away from being the manager here and he will take a lot of experience from the two-anda- half years of success he had here. It’s just a matter of time if he plans to get back into the game because I think he’s got everything.”