SAY IT WITH FLOWERS: Tim Flowers with the Premier League trophy. PICTURE: PA Images
Tim Flowers admits he draws inspiration from his Blackburn Rovers glory days as he aims to steer Solihull Moors to a shock title success.
The Moors boss was part of Kenny Dalglish’s unfashionable Rovers side which stunned English football by breaking Manchester United’s dominance of the early 1990s to win the 1994-95 Premiership title.
Any notion that the year of the underdog would never return was soon dispelled by another of Flowers’ former clubs, Leicester City, who famously won the 2015-16 Premier League title at odds of 5,000-1.
Flowers has led a huge turnaround of fortunes at Damson Park these last 12 months, steering the club to National League safety with a storming end-of-season run last year and then turning them into unlikely title contenders this time around.
And the 52-year-old former Southampton and England goalkeeper says his talented Moors squad don’t need to look far for inspiration as they look to clear the final hurdle and win a place in the Football League for the first time in the club’s history.
“Leicester was far bigger, them winning the Premier League was the biggest shock since Blackburn did it looking at the size of the clubs,” Flowers reflected this week.
“There were 80,000 people living in Blackburn. We got 28,000 that season so roughly a third of the town are watching the team. Leicester are not a big club like Man United, Arsenal, so it was a shock when they won it. It gives all the underdogs that thought ‘well if they can do it, why not us?’ Or if not that, a modicum of it. What is success for us this season? If we finish third, if we stay in the top seven, it’s been an incredible season.”
Flowers is also one of a few goalkeepers that have made a success in management with Wolves’ Nuno Espirito Santo and Wigan’s Nigel Adkins currently the only former custodians to manage in the top four divisions.
And the Moors chief believes that his experiences between the sticks, like facing the likes of the Crazy Gang of Wimbledon in the 80s and 90s, has helped him offer a different perspective to set-pieces and alike.
“I remember going to Plough Lane and Selhurst Park playing Wimbledon back in the day, they were a power, set-play based side. They made it to the Premiership playing that way,” he added.
“When Leicester got promoted we were scoring from attacking free-kicks for fun, we use some of that now – not as many as they did, but it works.
“I’m a big one for writing things down and remember it does not matter about personnel, it’s the delivery and the runs made.
“Restarts are key in this division, even in the Premier League, half of the goals are set-plays.
“There are 140-odd restarts in a National League game, the ball is only in play an hour! Top players keep the ball on the pitch and pass and move. I like to think we have a nice blend of both.”