Director of football David Holdsworth spoke today about the departure of John Sheridan following his resignation ahead of the home game against Mansfield Town on Friday afternoon.
“We were surprised [when it happened] but I was aware of certain situations, and we acted accordingly,” he said. “Of course you’re disappointed to lose a manager when you’ve put faith in him and supported him, but that’s football and we move on. We wish John well in his next job.
“The most important thing in any situation is that you must have a happy club. You have to have harmony in the club, and we’d been managing certain things prior to his departure because we wanted to keep everybody happy.
“I sat down with John, we had a long discussion, and I’d become fairly close to him, to be honest. But he had his reasons, which I’m not prepared to go in to, that remains private, so from our point of view we have to do what’s right for our club.”
“There is a disappointment that it’s happened, but we’ve conducted ourselves extremely well,” he commented. “Him leaving has been nothing to do with us in terms of how we do our business. We’ve dealt with everything correctly.
“John has reasons for his departure and, as a club, we have to act and react accordingly.”
On the rumours that there had bene some dressing room unrest, he told us: “Things go on when you’re out on the pitch and you’re caught up in the emotions of the game.
“John had to man-manage people, and every manager has to do that. These things happen at every club. We were keen not to unsettle the squad here in terms of going forward, and I think we’ve dealt with things well.
“We have lost our manager, but there are a lot of aspects of this season which have gone really well so far. There isn’t too much broken, so we must be prepared to be patient, because structure is key to this club.
“The approach is a professional one and we’re not scared about being in this position. That’s why there won’t be any knee-jerk reactions. The good thing is that we have Tommy Wright and Paul Murray here, and other good staff already in place.
“That’s why there’s no need to panic. Things are in place for a reason, because it’s the way the club needs to be balanced going forward.
“The other good part of where we are now is that the players dusted themselves off and they showed that they weren’t affected. They understand the reasons for what happened, and the players showed their spirit on Saturday. We played very well against a very good team.
“They went onto that pitch and they weren’t worried about who the next manager is. All they wanted was another three points.”
Speaking on behalf of CUOSC, Billy Atkinson said: “As with every other supporter I was disappointed to hear that John was going. We’re on the best run we’ve seen in years and, on Saturday, we had the best football I’ve seen at Brunton Park for ages.
“It was a disappointment, but I think it’s also an opportunity. You have to look at the whole club, and the whole club needs to work together. If somebody thinks they’re in the wrong place, then maybe they shouldn’t be there.
“Going forward, this is a really attractive place to come, and this is a fantastic opportunity, so we need to get the right appointment to help us to push on.”
And having spoken to John about his decision to move on, chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “It was clear to us from the discussions with John over a period of seven days that this wasn’t going to come down to anything over money.
“There wasn’t anything that we as a club could do. This wasn’t a club issue. He actually said when he left that he had no issues with the club and that he was happy with how he’d been treated, and with the support he’d been given.
“It was other factors and therefore there was nothing we could have done to change his mind. We’d talked about our plans for the window, and the opportunities we saw, and the fact that we could all be very optimistic looking forward. He told us that it was a brave decision to turn his back on all of that for something else.
“Having gone through it all with him, over a seven-day period, and to still end up where he left the club, it kind of shows the feeling John had that he didn’t want to be here. The clear thing was that his decision to leave was nothing to do with this club.”
“We know how these things work so we’ve left ourselves very well protected,” he added. “It isn’t a case of him turning up somewhere else and us all looking at each other and wondering how that happened.
“If anything happens with future employment we’re protected, we’ve done our contracts properly.”
David Holdsworth added: “I dealt with the situation and, let’s put it this way, the club he’s going to have acted in the correct manner, John acted in the correct manner, and we will be compensated for it.
“When a club comes in for a manager, or a player, you have to evaluate every situation on its own merits. That’s what we did, carefully, and always in our minds was our approach to where we want to be as a club.
“John openly admits this move is a gamble for himself. He’s had an offer and everything has been conducted properly, so it’s now time for us to move on.”