United’s chief executive Nigel Clibbens spoke today about this week’s appointment of new manager John Sheridan as the club continues to prepare for the season ahead with pre-season now just a few weeks away.
“We’re absolutely delighted that John has joined us,” he said. “It’s taken a while to get the appointment across the line, but we’re really pleased with it. It was important that we took the time and went through a thorough and proper process, at the same time as making sure we got the right man in.
“It’s clear when you speak to John that he has a lot of unfinished business. He’s got a real fire about him and ambition to succeed. When you look into his eyes you can see there’s a steely determination to push on.”
On what had made him the stand-out candidate, he told us: “He knew a lot about Carlisle United, he sees potential in us and he thinks he can take us forward, which is what we wanted to hear.
“He clearly knows the level, he knows how to do the job and he knows what’s required. He’s got a good understanding of players and he can hit the ground running, which I think is really important for us. We’re a bit behind the time line, but John will be able to kick on quickly because there isn’t much of a learning curve for him.”
“John knows what’s required here and he’s come to the club to push us forward,” he added. “He had other opportunities which he decided not to pursue in order to come here, so we’re really pleased that he’s shown that level of commitment.
“He knows the level inside out and that will give us a real fast start, which I think is important. There’s no getting away from it, by not having a manager in for the early part of the close season it has left us a little bit behind everybody else. Having John come in now means we can take advantage of his experience and get moving really quickly.”
With a big job ahead for the new gaffer, he said: “He comes into it with his eyes open. He knows a lot about the players who are already here, that was clear when we spoke to him.
“He’s made a good assessment of what we’ve got, and he was interested to hear about what we felt about the team, and how we’d been performing. I think his record shows he can come in and make a difference.
“We share John’s thoughts on the fact that we need to get out of this league, therefore we need someone who knows how to do that. John knows how to win. I think that will stand us in good stead.”
A big part of the job, of course, will involve building a strong relationship with the ever-loyal Blue Army.
“We said all along that we needed someone to come in and unite the fans,” he explained. “That’s why we knew we needed someone the fans could look and see that he means business.
“We needed someone who would give us some impetus and I think when the fans get to hear John, and see what he’s about, I think they’ll really take to him.
“I know the time that the process has taken has been frustrating for fans. When there’s a period like this you get speculation, which can be unsettling. I think it’s important that the fans know we’ve been trying to do this properly, and I think that’s what counts. We’re trying to run the club in the best way to give us the best chance of success.
“This is now a chance for everybody to look forward. I certainly can’t wait to see how it goes, and I’m sure there are a lot of fans who have been waiting to see which direction the club are taking.
“They know the direction we’re going in now and hopefully they’ll get behind John and the players and really give us a fighting chance of doing well next season, because that’s what it’s all about.”
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