Six months into his head coaching role at Fleetwood Town and Joey Barton admits he now understands why managers sometimes react the way they do to pundits.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho was criticised by the BT Sport analysts for his reaction to a missed chance during their Champions League win over Young Boys last week.
The Old Trafford boss responded by saying life as a pundit was a more comfortable role than that of a manager.
Having been a pundit before taking charge at Highbury, Barton sympathises with Mourinho’s response as he prepares for tonight’s FA Cup tie at Guiseley.
He said: “That lonely isolation of being a manager sometimes; you don’t experience it.
“You see Mourinho’s comments after the Young Boys game, the Champions League game the other night – I totally relate to it.
“He is right in what he says. It is a completely different experience than playing or sitting in a TV studio or the radio commentary.
“Until you have been in it and lived it, the highs and the lows, it is very easy to critique from afar.
“‘It is a lot easier when you sit with counters on a whiteboard or digital dummies’ I think was the phrase he used.
“I was chuckling to myself because I could not have understood – or would not have fully understood – what he was going on about six months ago.
“Now I get where he is at.
“In terms of management there is lots that go into it.
“A lot of work goes into the strategy, you are completely responsible for the game plan.
“The highs when you win are higher but the lows are lower than when you play because you are totally responsible for the strategy good or bad. It is all new to you.
“Also when you are learning all the time, as I feel I am, sometimes you have to adjust what you feel is the perfect way to do things before you had this experience.
“Every day is a school day. The struggle and strife when you are not winning games is worth it when you do.”
Twenty league games into his reign and Barton finds his team 12th in League One with seven wins, as many defeats, and six draws so far.
They had only won once in seven in the league prior to last Tuesday’s win against Coventry City.
Nevertheless, reflecting on his first six months, Barton revealed what he found to be the most enjoyable part of his role so far.
He said: “It’s been an eye-opening experience, it’s been everything I thought it would be and more.
“There’s been lots of things that I’ve come across that I didn’t think I’d have to deal with, that I have to deal with.
“I didn’t realise how much I actually like getting on the coaching side; getting out, getting your hands on the players, running the game plan, the strategy.
“I thought I’d like it but I did not realise how much I would like it.
“I think we’re progressing nicely and the most pleasing thing for me is seeing players take on small adjustments to their game and then their performance levels improve.
“That is the most rewarding bit of the job for me.
“As a by-product of that, if you get the results you are delighted.
“There is nothing better than a football club when you’re winning because it’s always a happier place.”