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MARTIN LING: Swindon Town boss Paolo Di Canio's 'fine' idea would lead us into a minefield

By Herald Express  |  Posted: November 08, 2012

LING IN DUGOUT V ROCHDALE

Torquay United manager Martin Ling. Picture by Torbay News Agency

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OUR RESULT against Harrogate was disappointing enough, but we weren't the only League club to go out of the FA Cup to non-League opposition and it probably wasn't the biggest 'shock' of last Saturday.

How about one of my old clubs Swindon Town, seventh in League One, losing 2-0 at home to Macclesfield Town?

The Robins' manager Paolo Di Canio said after that game that he would like to fine his players.

Apparently in Italy clubs are allowed to fine people for poor performances. It must in the terms of their contracts, I suppose.

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Well, I can certainly understand frustrated supporters thinking like that when their team underperforms.

But you put yourself in a sticky situation if you try to punish people for a poor performance.

My players were down enough after losing to Harrogate, but they didn't just lose some pride last Saturday.

They have already lost bonuses on offer for winning that match and, perhaps, bigger bonuses which could have come their way in future rounds of the FA Cup.

Also, I don't imagine that you could fine some members of a team and not others after a bad result. That would lead you into a real minefield.

On every bad day there are some players who may have let themselves down and others who may have played out of their skins and tried their hearts out.

I know all about collective responsibility, but I have a pretty good idea of the effect it would have in any dressing-room if different members of the same squad were treated differently at times like that.

A manager is always watching and assessing his players performances. He can't always act on those as quickly as he'd like sometimes, but it all goes into the memory bank and the judgment day comes sooner or later.

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