York City manager Gary Mills is ready to clamp down on his players’ use of Twitter.
The social networking website is becoming prominent in the football world with Joey Barton recently employing it as a tool to express his unhappiness at Newcastle United and Leeds United boss Simon Grayson even imposing a Twitter ban on his players for making comments he deemed inappropriate.
Twitter has become a popular method for supporters to gain up-to-date information directly from their favourite professionals by becoming “followers” of the players in question.
Photographs can also be posted for public consumption on the site and Matty Blair, Ashley Chambers, Michael Ingham, Scott Kerr, David McGurk, Adriano Moké and Jamie Reed are among the City players who currently boast Twitter accounts.
That could soon change, however, with Mills uncomfortable with the thought of his players providing regular on-line “tweets” of their views and opinions.
Outlining his stance on Twitter ahead of this afternoon’s Blue Square Bet Premier curtain raiser at Ebbsfleet, the City boss said: “I think it’s dangerous and I don’t like it and that’s not just because I don’t understand it or know how to get on it.
“Some people aren’t the brightest and can say things they shouldn’t which can cause unrest around your work place.
“It can be upsetting for a lot of people and why say things that are only important to me and my team?
“If anybody comes out with anything they shouldn’t that goes out to the public or anybody else, then I’m not having it.”
But Mills is taking a less hardline attitude towards the disruption caused to his preparations by players being called up for international duty.
Lanre Oyebanjo and Patrick McLaughlin were both absent from training this week as they represented the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland respectively at under-21 level.
Midfielder Andre Boucaud, meanwhile, missed out in a full international cap when Trinidad and Tobago’s friendly in Haiti was called off but he is expected to be called up again for next month’s World Cup qualifiers against Bermuda and Barbados.
Mills said: “It’s not an ideal situation because you want players with you all the time to work on things. If you want to talk about something, you want everybody there to listen.
“You hear Premier League managers moaning about it a lot but not many at this level. We have three international players though and, without meaning any disrespect, these are not England ‘C’ call-ups, which every Tom, Dick and Harry seems to get.
“We’re talking about playing full internationals and under-21 games. I think if we have all three missing then we can call games off but it might be that, when they go away, we’ve got to be good enough to make sure it does not affect the team.”
On Boucaud, Mills added: “Andre has been called up again for Trinidad in September and looks like he will miss two games for us. That’s the downside but he deserves the recognition. He’s a full international at York City and I hope he does well. But if he does end up going, somebody else will get the shirt and he might not get it back again – that’s how it works.
“I’m not going to be a negative manager who stands in the way of players representing their country. I’m delighted for him.”