Newcastle assistant Jason Tindall says he does not care if he upsets opposition staff, but insists he would never snub a handshake like Unai Emery did to him this week.
He also believes the Premier League rule change allowing only one coach to stand in the technical area was specifically brought in to impact on him and Eddie Howe.
Tindall, though, is not changing for anyone. The No.2, who has taken on cult status on Tyneside and beyond because of his touchline presence, stood in for Howe when the manager was missing because of illness during Friday’s media call.
And he was asked about his reputation as Newcastle’s ‘irritant’, a role celebrated by fans of the club with the nickname ‘Mad Dog’.
‘I don’t care if I upset people,’ he said. ‘I’m not going to stop being me. It’s not deliberate. I won’t stop being me all of a sudden because of what people say about me and what they tell me to do. If anyone thinks that’s going to stop me being my real self, that’s not going to happen.
Newcastle’s assistant Jason Tindall said he doesn’t care if he upsets people despite acquiring an ‘irritant’ reputation on the touchline
Unai Emery appeared to deliberately avoid a post-match exchange with Tindall – something Eddie Howe’s number two insists he wouldn’t do
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‘Listen, I don’t mean to get under the skin of opposing managers or deliberately upset anyone. All I’m interested in doing is helping Newcastle win matches. Once kick-off is there, that’s my only motivation. My goal is to do everything in my power to help the team. If that upsets a few people along the way, then so be it.’
Aston Villa boss Emery appeared to deliberately avoid a post-match exchange with Tindall following Newcastle’s 3-1 win at Villa Park on Tuesday. Was it good to know he’d got under the skin of the Spaniard?
‘I don’t look at it that way, it’s not about me against the opposing manager and coaching staff,’ he said. ‘If someone doesn’t want to shake my hand at the end of the game then I’m not in control of that. I wouldn’t personally do that myself, whereas some people act differently when they win compared to when they lose.
‘That’s down to the individual, but I certainly don’t go out to cause that problem. If they don’t like what they see, no problem, I’m not offended by it.’
It was Jurgen Klopp who suggested the rule change involving coaches in the technical area was targeted at Newcastle, and Tindall agrees.
‘It probably was!’ he said. ‘But I always say, I’ve never got any problems if any coaching staff want to go and stand up alongside their manager to help their team or to talk to whoever.
‘I think you have to do it in a respectful way and you have to be abide by the rules. I think we’ve done that well this year. I might get a little bit carried away, from time to time, but I always get dragged back into my place by the fourth official, and that’s fine.’
Tindall believes the rule change allowing only one coach to stand in the technical area ‘probably was’ targeted at him and Howe
Tindall courted controversy when he arranged Newcastle’s group celebration picture on the pitch at the Stadium of Light following their FA Cup win against Sunderland last month. Some observers said it was disrespectful. He disagrees.
‘It’s clear that we’ve always had a team photo whenever we win because it’s incredibly difficult to win football matches,’ said Tindall. ‘When you look back on your career, you want something to remind you of good moments, and that’s the reason we do it.
‘We had so many Newcastle fans behind the goal for the Sunderland one, and the support the fans have given us since we have been here has been incredible. Sometimes, it’s nice to share nice moments with the fans. Their support costs them a lot of money. With the love they always show us, it’s nice to give something back – and when you look back on that, it’s a great photo.’