David Moyes made light of the pressures of management with a joke about West Ham United owners David Sullivan and David Gold while recalling a warning he once received from Sir Alex Ferguson.
Moyes is preparing his West Ham team to face Genk knowing two more wins will all but seal their place in the Europa League last 16.
It would be the latest in a long line of achievements for Moyes during his sensational second spell as West Ham boss.
But away from the pitch, the most notable is perhaps earning the trust of West Ham co-owners Sullivan and Gold to take control of the entire football operation in east London.
The latest example of that is the Moyes-led appointment of head of recruitment Rob Newman.
It may sound silly to some. Like that should be a given. But Hammers fans had been highly critical of the fact Sullivan – previously acting as West Ham’s de facto director of football – had too much influence on the football side.
And Moyes knows only too well having control of the football side of things is not a right of passage anymore.
Discussing the fact he is closing in on 1,000 games in management – Moyes is currently on 995 games following the win at Everton – the Scot made a quip about Sullivan and Gold keeping him in the job for another five games to reach that milestone.
It was a lovely moment. This is a man who knows the job he is doing is a remarkable one. A man who has rediscovered his bullish spark after years of being kicked while he was down.
And he recalled some wise words from the man he replaced at Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson too.
“We’re a real happy club at the moment whether it be Europe, whether it be the league games… the Carabao Cup we’ve enjoyed that as well…” Moyes said in his pre-Genk press conference (whufc.com).
“Probably now, there’s more people working in football. We employ so many people, whether that be in the media, whether it be in grassroots football, whether it be all departments and at the top of it is the manager and he tends to be the one who loses his job at the end of it, if it doesn’t go quite right.
“I know I’m very close (to 1,000 games) and I’m looking forward to it…
Moyes makes joke about West Ham owners Sullivan and Gold and recalls Sir Alex warning
“I think (there’s a lack of ) longevity in football management so it’s hard to get that. So many young managers lose the job after their first go at it. So really to get to this period I think in a way is an achievement.
“I know I’ve got it coming if I can see through the next few games and the owners here let me get to that point!
“And I do believe management is much more difficult (nowadays), the manager’s don’t have as much strength and power as they did even when I came in to management.
“I remember Sir Alex – when he was getting closer to but not quite at his end – saying that the manager’s power was diminishing now because of agents, because of the new owners and different things in football.”