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MANAGER: Hardest thing I've had to do

16 July 2014

Graham Kavanagh on a very difficult decision

United manager Graham Kavanagh today spoke about David Irons following the announcement on Tuesday evening that he had moved on from his position at the club. 

“It was a really difficult one but I had a conversation with Davie today [Tuesday] and I told him that having to talk to him about this was without a shadow of a doubt the hardest thing I’ve had to do in the job,” he explained.

“He has been tremendous for me with his honesty, work rate and integrity and it was a really tough call to make. He’s given me so much advice and support so it was never going to be an easy thing to do. 

“To be honest it was a very emotional moment for us both and I was dreading it for 24 hours. I wanted to have the conversation with him face to face and, now that it’s done, we have to start to move forward from here.”

On the thinking behind the decision, he said: “I felt, for a couple of weeks, that I needed to make a change for a number of reasons, and none of that was anything to do with Davie doing things wrong. It was simply the fact that I want to take a different approach.

“I explained that to him and he took it with an incredible amount of grace and honour even though I knew he was finding it tough. We hugged and we left on very good terms.”

“I felt a huge sadness that we were parting company and I sent him a text afterwards,” he told us. “He rang me back right away and he said some lovely words. He couldn’t have gone up any more in my estimations but it just typified the man he is.” 

“It wasn’t a nice situation but I felt I had to do it,” he said. “I’ve made changes across the board on the playing side and I just wanted to reshuffle what we were doing behind the scenes as well. 

“His last words to me were to tell me that he firmly believes I am going to be a top manager and that we will have success this season. He added that if we were celebrating promotion at the end of the season then he would be the first person to call to congratulate me. 

“I was really choked when he said that because I know how difficult the day was for us both. I didn’t enjoy it one little bit but I’ve said all along that tough decisions need to be made, and I think that was the toughest I’ll ever have to do. All I can say is that I know I’ve done it for the right reasons.”

“We’ll see what happens over the next few weeks in terms of that position,” he concluded. “I’ll have my eye on trying to bring somebody in but, if that doesn’t happen, I’m not overly concerned. 

“I have a bigger support staff around the football club, but I do know that the load increases as the season goes on. Sometimes you need to be in two places at once and that’s when you lean heavily on your right hand man. I don’t know what’s round the corner but it’s something I will keep looking at.”

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