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INTERVIEW: It was the right decision

13 October 2013

More from MD John Nixon

In the second part of our interview with managing director John Nixon he spoke about the reasoning behind the appointment of new manager Graham Kavanagh to the permanent position here at Brunton Park.

“We had five candidates who hit the interview process,” he explained. “The interesting thing was that of those five, Graham Kavanagh included, four of them were current and working in the game. We weren’t necessarily looking for people who had been in management before and who had moved on for whatever reason - usually dismissal in one form or another.”

“That meant I had to talk to a few managing directors to ask for permission to talk to the candidates, which is how it should be done,” he continued. “One of the five subsequently withdrew and is still working at a Premier League club now. He told us he’d thought about it long and hard and that, even though he had applied for the job, he had decided that he wanted to withdraw and carry on with what he was doing.” 

“The interview process gave us a lot of food for thought but, at the end of the day, Kav came through as a very strong candidate,” he told us. “I was a bit blown away in that first week with the way he tackled the job and with the way the whole of the ‘united three’ did things. 

“They had the courage to do things differently because the easy option was to take things on in the same way as had been done previously. That would have kept the pot boiling with the same style of training sessions and the same routines. They didn’t do that; they immediately went into a totally different routine.

“Players were interviewed on a one-to-one basis and they brought in all sorts of new things. If that hadn’t worked then I’d have been less upset because at least they had shown the courage to try something new. 

“I’d have been more upset if they’d just kept things the same because it was obvious that there was a crisis of confidence inside the squad at the time. Getting our first win against Sheffield United changed that feeling and the way we were operating completely. Maybe managers need a little bit of luck as well, but that’s the same for everybody.”

And on the feeling the in the boardroom now that the appointment has been made, he said: “We think it is the right decision. 

“People are going to come to me and say that this was the cheap option. My first retort to them will be – no, it was the right option. 

“No option in this situation is ever cheap. We entered into a contract with Greg [Abbott] and we will continue to pay him right through this season, at whatever rate. That’s a fact of life. There just isn’t a cheap option when a club and a manager part company.” 

“What it has done is given us continuity within the club,” he continued. “However, I now have to build a new relationship with Graham which I’ve never had before. I’ve always worked through someone else with him up to now but it’s good, it’s interesting and it’s new. 

“He’ll learn a lot because we will go through things he hasn’t done or seen before, and he’s doing all of this at the same time as he goes through the last six months of his pro-licence. He’s in a group of ten or eleven on that course who are currently in management positions, so that will be good for him.”

We’ll have more from John Nixon on the official website on Monday morning where he talks about targets, facilities and the desire to take the step up into the Championship. 

United Player subscribers can see a video interview with John Nixon now. Click HERE to go to the Player platform. Follow the same link for more information on United Player, and to subscribe.

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