News of James Beattie's announcement as the new Accrington Stanley boss this week, took me right back to the day when I accepted my first manager's job at Northwich Victoria.

I was in my late 30s at the time and was immediately faced with a conundrum. I'd been a player-coach at Preston North End, and had been offered a similar role at Bristol Rovers for the 1992/93 campaign, but being the first-team manager, even though it was in non-league, was a job I really fancied doing. The conundrum was; should I play on?

That was the first question I asked myself, and it didn't take long for me to decide that it was best to concentrate on management. I signed on, I kept myself fit, and I played myself when we were struggling with injuries, but I couldn't do both jobs properly. That much was obvious.

On the pitch you're judged as a player, so you have to be focussed on that, and there's no doubt that whenever I did play it took something away from my ability to manage the side.

In theory, it sounds like fun to be a player-manager, but in reality it rarely works. There's too much to think about.

That's why I was pleased to see that Beattie has already decided to put all his eggs in the manager's basket. He'll sign on like I did, but has said he'll only play himself if there's an emergency.

It's a sensible call. You need to be committed to one thing or the other, and he's made a wise decision to resist the temptation to try both.

Down at Oxford United, I was delighted to hear that supporters' group OxVox had their application for the Kassam Stadium to be protected from immediate sale, accepted by the City Council.

It's a very important step for the club's fanbase and perhaps for football in general, because this landmark council decision means club owners should no longer be allowed to sell the stadium without offering the club's fans the chance to purchase it first.

Deemed a 'Community Asset', any future sale of the Kassam Stadium would have to be put on hold for six months, so that the fans have the time to make their own bid for it. That's a great thing.

I'm sure it's a step that will have pleased a number of other clubs' fans too, like Manchester United and Liverpool for example, who do fear that once their owners leave their ground could be placed in danger.

For Oxford United, this decision alleviates a lot of worry that supporters have had, and by keeping things so intact it provides confidence that the club has more stability.

On the pitch, it's D-Day for Northampton Town and Bradford City this weekend, as the npower League 2 Play-Off Final decides the final promotion place.

Looking at their previous meetings this season, Phil Parkinson's Bradford have the edge, winning both league fixtures 1-0, while they also shared two draws in the FA Cup, before the Bantams won on penalties in the first round.

Those games tell me that this encounter is likely to be evenly matched, and anyone that's watched these two in action this season will also be well aware that commitment is never in short supply.

Northampton Town are a physical, full-blooded and well organised unit, and the same applies to Bradford, who also have a genuine cutting edge with the combination of Nahki Wells and James Hanson up front.

I remember going to the Conference Play-Off Final with Morecambe and we felt like paupers compared to our opponents Exeter City.

They had a brand new shiny bus, and all stepped off the coach in £300 Ted Baker suits and sunglasses, while my boys were kitted out in £50 numbers I'd managed to get at half-price in Manchester.

Compared to us they looked immaculate, but the match isn't won in the fashion stakes, it's won on the pitch. We went up that day because we handled the occasion better, and the same will apply to these two clubs.

Wembley can do funny things to players. If they get caught up in the occasion footballers can get jelly legs, fatigue, breathing issues; the lot. It's not something everyone can take in their stride.

As I said, I believe it will be close, but for me Bradford City have the edge. I'm tipping them to take their place in npower league 1 next term.