Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Double Act

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

The Double Act

Article excerpt

Byline: By Stuart Rayner

Dave Hodgson and Mark Proctor are a footballing double act. It speaks volumes that Hodgson spent the first 10 days of pre-season on holiday, safe in the knowledge that his assistant would look after things.

"We go back a long way," Proctor explains. "We came through the youth system at Middlesbrough 25 years ago and we know each other well. We can have a good row over team selection and personnel, which we do on occasions, and within five, 10 minutes it's all forgotten."

But while they may disagree on some things, they both know what they want from next season: entertainment.

"This is a fantastic facility," Proctor says of the Williamson Motors Stadium. "We're just hopefully going to fill it a little bit more this season.

"To do that, we've got to win more games and play more attractive football."

Hodgson, now in his third spell in charge, said: "We've let a lot of people down over the last few years but the chairman is making massive strides to create a good relationship between ourselves and the fans."

When asked if he would prefer a quiet season of consolidation after the turbulence of recent years, his response is immediate: "I don't want a normal season. I want a roller-coaster one of ups and downs so everybody's happy!" Although he has ambitions in management, Proctor is for now a coach and admits he can find recruiting new players mind-boggling.

"We must have had a thousand phone calls, emails and CVs hawking players to us," he says. "It can be quite difficult sifting through them all. It can be a bit tedious and it is hard work."

Hodgson, on the other hand, is in his element. He reasons: "When you've spent 15 years of your life since you've packed in playing ( on and off here for seven years and seven years as a licensed agent ( it's easy work for me. …

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