Alloa Athletic's Jim Goodwin thankful for dropping himself a he receives award
Jim Goodwin has put Alloa Athletic's turnaround in form down to his decision to drop himself.
The Wasps player-manager has been named League One manager of the month for February after three wins and a draw and his side sit second from top.
"Since I took myself out of the team we've started playing well," he told league sponsor Ladbrokes.
"I was finding it difficult at the beginning to do both. I wasn't giving 100% to either role."
But the 35-year-old midfielder, who took charge in October after Jack Ross moved to Goodwin's former club, St Mirren, is not ending his playing career just yet.
"I'm not making an official announcement that I'm retiring," said Goodwin, whose side sit second in the table and look certainties for at least a promotion play-off place.
"I still keep myself fit and train with the boys twice a week and, if needs must, if we get a number of suspensions and injuries between now and the end of the season, I want to be able to play.
"At this moment in time, the lads who are in my position are playing extremely well and I couldn't justify playing myself.
"I felt it was better for me if I was going to give the opportunity the best crack then I should take myself out of the playing side of it, which has benefitted me greatly.
"I'm now able to see the bigger picture from the side of the park and able to have more of an influence on tactical decisions and substitutions."
Alloa began the month with a 2-2 draw at home to leaders Livingston and have since narrowed the gap at the top to seven points with nine games left.
"At one stage, they had a 12-point gap and people probably looked at it and thought it was impossible for us to catch them," said Goodwin.
"But we never believed that it was over and still don't to this day.
"They're certainly in the driving seat, it's their's to lose, but if they're going to win the league then they'll have to go and get it. We won't hand it to them.
"If they go and lose on Saturday and we win then it's down to four and we have to play each other."