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Mixu Paatelainen 2005/06
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Mixu Paatelainen 2005/06

What different manager's have you worked under? 

Jim McLean (Dundee United), Willie Miller (Aberdeen), Bruce Rioch and Colin Todd/Roy McFarlane (Bolton), Mark McGhee (Wolves), Alex McLeish (Hibs), Ivan Hasek (Strasbourg), Bobby Williamson (Hibs), Billy Stark (St. Johnstone) and Gus MacPherson (St. Mirren).  

Tell us about Jim McLean?  

Jim was a fantastic coach. He was a very important influence for me, teaching me how to move and how to read a game. Gordon Wallace was the Assistant Coach. Both were very high on discipline. 

What have you learned from other managers?  

I have learned something from them all. I have taken certain aspects, both successful and unsuccessful and am looking to apply the lessons learned.  

Who are the best defenders you've played against?

Dutch legend Frank Rijkaard who was quick, powerful, good in the air and a good passer. Also German International Jorgen Kholer and the French World Cup team Laurent Blanc, Marcel Desailly and Lilian Thuram.

What has been your biggest playing achievement to date?  

Winning 70 caps and captaining Finland (including scoring four goals in one match). Also playing and scoring four goals in the Premiership playing in the League Cup Final against Liverpool. 

What about from a coaching perspective?  

Guiding St.Mirren reserves to the Cup Final against Celtic at Hampden.    

What previous coaching experience have you had? 

I was Assistant Manager under Billy Stark at St. Johnstone and was appointed 1 st team Coach by Gus MacPherson when I moved to St. Mirren. 

How did the move to Central Park come about?  

Gordon McDougall phoned me to ask if I was interested. I said absolutely. He outlined his ideas and vision for Cowdenbeath Football Club. It is a club in a healthy position and with very good people in charge.             

What attributes will you bring to Central Park ? 

Real coaching and playing experience at the highest level.    

What's your philosophy about football? How do you like to see the game played?  

My football philosophy is very much offensive, attacking and positive.  

How big a role do you foresee yourself playing on the pitch this season and can you give us an update on your current fitness?  

I want to play but need to work some more on getting fit and strong again. I want to score goals, hold the ball up and help the youngsters at the club develop their skills. That’s not to say that I will stand in young players way if they want to move on and develop at a higher level.  

You're still playing senior football at 38. What's your secret? 

I have a strong desire and enthusiasm to play. I still get a buzz and keep my fitness levels up. I still have a hunger to play.    

You have had a month to assess the squad, what are you’re early impressions?  

The squad is very fit and the players have an excellent attitude. I am looking for changes though and want to help them improve their game. They need to take more care in their passing. I am looking for more hunger and determination; let the opposition know all about it. We will be working hard this week end in preparation for the game against Berwick.    

What do you make of the set-up at Cowdenbeath?  

The set up is fantastic. We have everything here – all the facilities.    

Do you have any plans to add to the backroom team?

I am more than happy with Brian McNaughton, who is an excellent coach, and have no plans for changes or additions at the moment.               

Cowdenbeath have an impressive youth set-up, how important do you view youth development?  

Cowden have a magnificent youth set up and is the way forward for the Club. We have good qualified coaches who are still developing their coaching skills.  

Knowing what you know now, what habits would you like to instil in the youngsters at Central Park ?

I will tell all our young players to keep their ears open and learn to do on the pitch what the coaches have told them.

What are your ambitions for the club?

It is my first job as a Manager and it feels similar to starting as a player for the first time. I am hungry to manage and to go as far as possible as a coach and as a manager. I want to do my best. I am very ambitious both as a player and as a manager. I don’t think success can necessarily come straight away but I am absolutely positive Cowden will succeed.

Do you have a message for the fans? 

Come to the matches. Support us. All the players, the backroom team and management are working our socks off to improve the club. We will succeed. I am a very honest straightforward guy and am looking forward to meeting the Supporters in September.