In the second part of our interview with United boss John Sheridan he spoke about squad reshaping and more about his hopes for the season ahead.
“I know most of the players who are already at the club and I know what they’re capable of,” he confirmed. “They’ve played against me when I’ve managed other teams, so I know what to expect.
“We do need a few players in, but the nucleus of the squad is there, which is a good thing in my eyes. I can still put my own stamp on it and hopefully bring in players who will make us better. Hopefully from there we can achieve and get what we’re after.”
“I’ve had some good chats with the board and they’ve made everything clear, but they know the squad needs reshaping,” he continued. “They’ve given me licence to do that as a manager, which I wanted. That was important to me.
“I’m going to come in and put my own stamp on it and they’ve given me that leeway to do that so that I can get things sorted out as quickly as possible. Hopefully we can do that. Hey, I’m sat here talking, which is easy, everyone now wants to see it happen and I’m very confident that it will.
“The talks with the board were very positive throughout. I was very pleased with the way things went and delighted that I was invited back. I’m here now, they’ve offered me the job, and I’m absolutely chuffed to bits.
“I’ve managed in higher leagues and I’ve done well, but I want to come here and do even better. This isn’t a second division club, it’s a bigger club than that as far as I’m concerned. However, we’re in there for a reason and that’s why we have to make it better on the pitch.”
So, what type of approach can we expect to see?
“We’ll need to have a fighting spirit about us but, at the same time, I want us to be attractive on the eye as well,” he explained. “I want players who have a will and desire to win and who don’t like losing.
“I do demand a lot but, at the same time, I want my players to enjoy coming in every day of the week. I’m looking forward to training and playing and, there’s no doubt about it, if you have a happy player I think you’ve got a better player. That’s something I like to bring into my management and hopefully it’s all going to work out for us.
“The fans are disappointed at the moment because they finished tenth last season. We have to have the mentality that finishing tenth isn’t good enough. We should be getting out of the league and we should be pushing the play-offs, or trying to win the division.
“That’s my philosophy, I want us to be winners. You’ll very rarely hear me mention budgets because it doesn’t necessarily mean that whoever has the best budget then has the best team. I think it’s a very evenly balanced division, with some teams who you think will be strong but, listen, you’ve only got to look at Accrington Stanley - there’s my answer to that.”
With the backroom staff also having departed at the end of the season, he also confirmed that he has people in mind to help him with the job at hand.
“I’ve spoken to people, and I’m hoping to get my staff in place quickly,” he told us. “Hopefully they’ll agree to come. I don’t want to name names because there are one or two details to sort out.
“I have confidence in them because they’re people I’ve worked with and know, and they’ve done the job in the Championship and the Premier League. I’m hoping they’ll come and join me on the ride.”
“As I keep repeating, the season is looming at us, but I’m not complaining about that one bit,” he insisted. “We’ve just got to work hard and get out there. I’ll be looking for players immediately, we have pre-season to sort, and we need to get our house in order.
“It’s going to be exciting. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy and, in fact, it’s going to be tough, but we have to focus on getting players in and hopefully we’ll have everything in shape for the most important date – the first game of the season.
“It’s all about getting the right personnel and hopefully the characters I bring in will buy in to what we’re after. I’d like to think Carlisle can definitely get in the play-offs. I look at the other teams and, without being disrespectful, I know that with the right players we’ll be as good as any other club in the division. I need to get that belief into the players and we’ll take it from there.”
“We’re bound to talk about playing style but the need to win games goes without saying,” he added. “You have to score goals to win games and that’s my objective.
“It’s a big pitch at Brunton Park and I’ve found it very hard to play against Carlisle as a manager. I’d like to have a bit of pace in the team and to get forward as much as possible, so it’s down to me to get the right people in to do that.
“I’m a big believer in myself and I want the fans to believe in me and to know that I’ll be doing everything I can to make our season successful. It’s about getting in the play-offs or getting out of the division. That’s the way I’m looking at it.
“I want the fans to believe in me as much as I believe in what I’m trying to achieve. I’ve proven myself in this division, but I know that probably not everybody will agree with the appointment.
“I’m hoping they’ll see what’s happening and they’ll get as excited as I am. It’s important that the fans get right back onside because I know what’s waiting if they do. I’ve been here when there have been big crowds and I’ve played against Carlisle and been on the losing side many a time.
“I want this to be a really tough place to come and the fans can help with that if they’re right behind us. My job is give them a successful season. Like I say, I’ve won this division when I was at Chesterfield and we were very attack-minded when we did that. I’d like us to be attractive, but it’s about winning games.”
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