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Arbroath boss Dick Campbell made me feel like I was Pele – Joel Nouble
Nouble spent the first half of the season at Gayfield on loan from Livingston and said his time at the club was “wonderful”.
Joel Nouble revealed Dick Campbell made him feel like Pele as he delivered an insight into the Arbroath manager’s “very strange” but effective team talks.
Livingston attacker Nouble spent the first half of the season on loan at Arbroath and will watch closely as the part-timers aim to go top of the cinch Championship when they play Kilmarnock at Rugby Park on Friday in their penultimate league game.
Dick Campbell and his twin brother Ian, his assistant, have led Arbroath to the brink of one of Scottish football’s most unlikely achievements and Nouble hailed their motivational skills.
Speaking about his time at Gayfield, the 26-year-old said: “It was wonderful.
“The foundations were already there. I didn’t know too much about Arbroath before I went. I knew they survived on the last day last season but I was confident going into games and everyone was making it seem like ‘Arbroath are part-time so the odds are against us’.
“But we won a couple of games and the belief was there. I feel like I went in and was the cherry on the top of a wonderful cake.
“Since I have come back, Jack Hamilton has gone there and done unbelievable.
“The managers are probably the biggest thing, they give you that belief. They made me feel like I was Pele.
“Dick Campbell would go up to each player and tell them their role and what he wanted, and then he would get to me and say ‘Noubs, just do what you want’. That’s what he said every game. His man-management was unbelievable.
“He made me feel deluded, like nobody could stop me.”
Nouble was stunned at some of the “very strange” team talks.
“One of my early ones, he (Dick) and Pink (Ian) were just singing about a hole in a bucket, just singing some random song,” he said. “We went out and won 3-0. It worked.
“We played against Dunfermline away and Dick was saying he wanted us to get stuck in. He used Pink to show us and barged into him and said ‘boys, get stuck in’.
“They started boxing each other. For 30 seconds, you could just see two grown-ups boxing each other.
“Dick was getting tired and I am laughing and he looks at me and said: ‘Do you want a go as well?’
“But we went out and won.
“You expect changing rooms to have everyone pumped up and people slamming the walls and shouting ‘let’s go!’ When I was at Arbroath, I would go out on the field laughing.
“Whatever they do, it’s working this season.”