Leicester boss Brendan Rodgers admits he now has to dish out cuddles rather than criticism after clocking 500 games in management.
The 46-year-old hit the milestone in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win at Newcastle.
Rodgers started his career with Watford in 2008 before going on to manage Reading, Swansea, Liverpool and Celtic.
He joined the Foxes in February and, ahead of Saturday’s Premier League visit of Bournemouth, Rodgers highlighted one change he has seen during his career.
“Players are different, they probably need a cuddle a bit more now,” said Rodgers, who has taken charge of 14 Leicester games and is unbeaten this season.
“It’s a different leadership now, there’s more transparency, players want to know more and they know more about the game.
“That side has changed, the football is still about trying to do the best for the players. Managing the pressure is critical. Sometimes as a young manager when people ask about pressure you say it’s not there – it is there.
“What you learn is to regulate that pressure and redirect the flow.
“You learn to be a bit more relaxed, when you first start out in management – especially someone like myself who didn’t have a career in terms of playing – then you are very keen to show your qualities.
“Sometimes you say stupid things and do stupid things but through time you gain experience and earn the respect of players and people you work for.”
But the former Chelsea youth chief is adamant he would never need to resort to intimidation to get his point across.
“I’ve never felt beating with a stick is a solution – I try to engage with people on a personal level,” said Rodgers, who won two titles at Celtic, took Swansea to the Premier League and finished second with Liverpool in 2014.
“It’s the same with my staff. If you have a common goal and a cause, that creates the momentum. I don’t need to be throwing things and doing all sorts to intimidate, it’s not how I am.”
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