New United boss John Sheridan came fresh from signing his two-year deal at the Crown Hotel in Wetheral on Tuesday afternoon and immediately spoke about his determination to take the club back to where he feels it belongs now that he’s been handed the reins at Brunton Park.
“This is a challenge I’m really looking forward to,” he said. “I’m excited to get the opportunity to come and manage Carlisle United. I’ve only recently left Fleetwood and I wanted to get back and involved as quickly as possible.
“I’m chuffed to bits to get this opportunity. I know Carlisle from the outside, I’ve played against them and managed against them, and I know what a good club it is. It’s also a tough place to come and play.”
The experienced former Republic of Ireland midfielder has been in charge of 568 games with six different clubs across a 17-year career as a manager, and also boasts 107 goals in 736 appearances from a playing career which spanned 23 years.
“I know it’s a long time ago, but I remember playing against the club when I was at Leeds United,” he told us. “There was probably 20,000 people there and I can still remember the atmosphere on a Tuesday night. It was just unbelievable.
“It’s always a difficult place to come, teams don’t like coming here, which is a big plus. The potential is there and in the last couple of years the club has been in and around the play-offs, and they’ve shown signs of being a really good team.
“It excites me, the stadium, the fan base and the potential are all there and I want to get the club back to where I believe they should be. I believe the club should be in a higher division and I want to come in and show what I can do and what the club can achieve together.”
With pre-season just a matter of weeks away, he commented: “All managers are different and I’m hoping I can come in and put my stamp on it quickly.
“It needs doing quickly, in terms of getting the squad sorted, but I’m really looking forward to it. It’s going to be a big challenge for me but it’s one I’m looking forward to. I know what’s required and I know what the fans are expecting.
“If I can come in and we can play attractive football that will be great, but I want to play winning football. That’s what I’m aiming to do.”
“There’s a lot of work for me to do now, but I think that’s a good thing,” he added. “It means I can put my own stamp on it. It’s going to be tough, because it is a late appointment, but I’m chuffed to bits to be here.
“There’s plenty of time and plenty of players out there to go and get. I’m very confident we will get a good, strong squad in before the start of the season. I’m expecting good things from us.
“I don’t want to blow my own trumpet, but I have done really well at this level. I know what type of players you need. I’ve been in and around the play-offs and I’ve won this league with Chesterfield, so I know what it’s about.
“I know it’s easy to say it but hopefully I will prove it all. I know what type of players we need and I’ve got good contacts to hopefully help build a strong squad. It will be about the squad, not just 11 players, and starting from today we’ll be working hard to get those players in.”
“In my mind I’ve already got thoughts about players, but this has all happened very quickly in terms of getting the job,” he said. “I know what’s needed, and regarding players and pre-season we want to try and get it all sorted out as quickly as possible.
“We’ve got to work hard to get the right ones, I won’t just bring any player in, they’ve got to be the right ones who will fit into the club.”
And on bringing the fanbase along as part of the journey, he said: “I want the fans to be part of this. I know they’re out there and I know that if we’re doing well the crowds will get bigger.
“That was one of the things which attracted me to the club. I know the fans are demanding, but I’m demanding myself. People will tell you what type of person I am from when I’ve played. I want us to play good football and enjoy coming into training and playing games.
“I also want us to excite the fans. It’s all about scoring goals in my eyes and hopefully we’re going to be a very attack-minded team. We’re going to score goals and try and win games.
“I will never complain when a fan grumbles because I grumble if we get beat. The disappointment is part and parcel of football. Everyone involved in the club wants the same thing, we want to win football matches. The cleaners, the staff and the coach driver all want the same thing, we want to be winning matches and that’s what we’re going to be trying to do.”
We’ll have more from new United gaffer John Sheridan on the official website on Wednesday morning.
Click HERE to watch an interview with John Sheridan on iFollow United now.