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Interviews

MANAGER: I want our players to enjoy themselves

John Sheridan on a positive working environment

26 July 2018

Looking back again at some of the topics discussed at the recent Monday night Forum, we focus this time on the working environment, the much-needed support of the fans and the use of loan players.

“I more or less know what my team will be at Exeter,” John Sheridan confirmed to one questioner who asked if he had started to think about team selection. “Hopefully, if we get the new signing we want, we’ll be able to adjust that a little bit because it is important to work on shape and set plays the closer you get to the start of the season.

“You will get some indicators at the Bradford game as to how I’m thinking, but we don’t want to completely give our hand away to Exeter. We’ll certainly be tested in our last friendly, but I expect us to compete.”

“The good thing is that I have a good core of players here to work with now,” he added. “I'm a new manager with different ideas and I hope the players continue to respond to that. They've been close to success these last few years and I really do think what is left is a strong core for this league.

“Most of all I want our players to enjoy themselves. These boys are lucky to be footballers, it's a privilege, so I want them to enjoy the job they’re doing.

“If they’re enjoying it that will transfer to the fans, I have no doubt about that. People ask about three-year plans, and things like that, but it doesn’t work that way for a manager. Nobody would be enthusiastic if I said we’d build slowly this year, consolidate the next year and then go for it in the third year.

“It’s a game that’s about results and you don’t get three months as a football manager if that is going against you. I want to hit the ground running and I want success now. If we're winning games people will come back.

“If we're playing entertaining football and picking up points the fans will come, I really do believe that. Unfortunately at this level you get inconsistency. If you get 7 out of 10 from every player every week you hit the play-offs. That's the reality of this division.

“But, if we can get results, I know what the potential is here. It’s one of the big reasons why I decided I wanted the job in the first place. It’s always great when you know you have the fans behind you.”

Speaking more about the fan base, assistant manager Tommy Wright said: “One thing that I’ve noticed over the years, when Carlisle have been the visiting team at other grounds, is the amount of away fans they take with them.

“That has never failed to surprise me. It's amazing and it tells us that the support is there.”

And on the use of loan players, the manager said: “We don’t want to bring loan players in, believe me. We want players who sign permanently and who we then sell on for big fees. If I had a choice I'd have no loanees, but the real world is that we need to use that market.

“If you have these lads, I don't bring a loan player in to sit on his backside. Their club wants him to come out to play, so it works both ways. It's about getting experience and learning to look after themselves. Mind you, they aren’t guaranteed to start. If they're not performing they will be sat watching, so it's up to them.

“Carlisle have had some great loan players in the past, the likes of Ben Marshall, Adam Clayton, Tom Lawrence and James Chester. I had the same at Oldham when I used the loan market, and good players will always go on to bigger and better things.

“I want players like Slater, Yates and Gillesphey to be talked about in the same way, because we have a group here who are in that category. I want to attract players like that to make us better, and that’s what I’m working hard at doing.”

“Just as an example, I signed a few loan players in the Championship from the Premier League, but it was often hard to get them because of the amount you have to pay if you don't play them,” Tommy Wright explained. “You’d sometimes agree a £10,000 fee only to then have to pay £12,000 if you didn’t use him. That’s the kind of thing you can end up having to do if you want to get the player in.”

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