IT’S fair to say Brian Stock and Terry Pashley made a lasting first impression on each other.
Clarets caretaker boss Pashley called midfielder Stock George by accident, mistaking him for George Porter, while Stock himself learned the hard way that the manager’s decision is final!
After the 1-0 win over Blackpool last Saturday, Pashley said: “I’ve thanked all the staff and Brian Stock for their input.”
And Stock explained: “Pash called me George the first time I met him! He thought I was George Porter.
“We didn’t get off on the right foot, I walked off and he came over and apologised!
“The first five minutes of me meeting him weren’t very good, but we had a laugh about it.
“I took it lightly in the end.
“At first it was hard to take, but we get on really well. I really like him.
“It lightened the mood and we had a joke about it.
“I don’t know if he did it on purpose but I might use that further down the line.
“Fortunately it hasn’t stuck!”
And of his “input” against Blackpool?: “In the heat of the moment on Saturday I felt there was a decision that had to be made, and, you’re not going to believe this, but I told him what I thought we should do as a formation and a team.
“Twenty seconds later my name came up on the board!
“I thought he was taking the mick, but he won’t get any more input from me!
“He said what he had to say after the game, and I fully respect his decision.
“At the time it was the right thing to do, and it proved right as well.”
Stock was back in the starting line-up for the win at Bristol City on Tuesday - the first time he has started back to back games since joining the club in the summer from Doncaster.
And he likes to think he is proving former boss Eddie Howe wrong, who felt he had to be nursed through the campaign: “I know Eddie really well, I’ve grown up idolising the likes of Eddie, and I cleaned Tindall’s boots, and what they’ve done is for the right reasons and I wish them all the best and do well for Bournemouth because it’s a club close to my heart.
“We move on as professionals.
“But I’ve had a chance to play more games and I’m delighted. I didn’t come here to make up the numbers and sit on the bench, I feel I can offer the team and the league something.
“I still feel fit and healthy and have plenty more games inside me.
“I’ve never let my standards drop in training, if you start sulking you get further down the pecking order.
“I played Saturday-Tuesday last year, I wanted to come here and said to Eddie I can prove him wrong.
“I didn’t play two consecutive games under him, but I know what I can do, although I respect his decision.”
Stock has been an integral part of the side that has won back to back league games for the first time this season, and he sees no reason why the Clarets can’t get a third at Cardiff tomorrow: “Cardiff is a very tough place to go and get a result, they’ve got a strong squad, a good manager and they will be there or thereabouts, so it’s going to be very tough, but we can go there full of confidence.
“Charlie can’t stop scoring so we’ve always got a goal threat, and we’re starting to look more solid at the back.
“We think we can get promoted, definitely top six, so this is the sort of test you need to come through.
“We’ve got a bit of momentum and I don’t see why we can’t carry it on.”
The spirit among the squad was shown to great effect after Chris McCann’s winner at Bristol, with Lee Grant racing the length of the pitch to join the celebrations, and Stock admitted: “I’ve been in the game for quite some time and this is the best set of lads I’ve worked with.
“Sometimes we’re too nice and pally, but there’s a great set of lads and we get on very well.
“There’s a real togetherness and no divides - I’ve been at a club with the biggest divide I’ve been involved in at Doncaster last season, so it’s nice to see the lads sticking together.”