Joint caretaker manager Tommy Wright had just 24-hours to prepare the team for the visit of Mansfield Town following the departure of John Sheridan on Friday morning, and he confirmed that the news had come as a shock when he found out that it was happening on Thursday night.
“The last couple of days have obviously been very hectic,” he admitted. “John [Sheridan] was a strong character and he’s laid very good foundations, but it was a shock when he left.
“I know there were one or two rumours in the press, but it was still a shock. He told me on Thursday night that it was happening, once he’d made a decision, and I told him I didn’t want him to go.
“I was surprised, and I spoke to him to see if he was sure it was the right decision. Chesterfield, which he looks like going to, are a good club, but I know we’ve got something good going here. He’s his own man, it’s his decision, but I am disappointed that he’s gone, of course I am.
“I thought he should have stayed, but everyone has to make their own decisions. I hope he does well at Chesterfield, if that does happen. He’s left us in a good place, so we’ll just carry on.”
“That’s all we can do,” he added. “We’ll keep doing our jobs and, on a personal level, me and John will still be best pals. We’ve worked at different clubs before, we haven’t always been at clubs together.
“I wish him all the best and I’m sure he’ll be successful. He wished me all the best for the weekend, and the last thing before he said before he left was that he hoped we got a win.
“We’re best friends and John has gone for his reasons. I respect that, and he respects me, and he’s wished me all the very best with what we’re doing here. This is football, it’s life, and I know we’ll still be seeing a lot of each other.”
On how the news was broken to the lads, ahead of the weekend fixture, he told us: “We trained on Friday before John told the players he was leaving so we could keep it as normal as possible.
“I spoke to one or two of the players afterwards about different things I wanted them to do in the match. It isn’t like I’ve taken over a struggling team. I’ve taken over a team that had won five on the bounce and they were also playing terrific football.
“The result on Saturday was a pat on the back for everybody because it had definitely been a hectic couple of days. With the run we’ve been on it didn’t feel like there was much disruption. The players are full of confidence. I wanted them to be more professional on the pitch in terms of seeing things and doing things, and I think that came out.”
Having taken the run to six consecutive league victories, we wondered if he would be interested in picking up the first team manager position full time.
“In terms of the job, the board have got to ask me first,” he commented. “You probably think that’s a bit of a cop out of an answer, but I do like it here.
“I get on well with David [Holdsworth] and the chairman, so we’ll just have to see what happens. I’ve been in football a long time and I’ve been caretaker before, and this is a very attractive job at the moment.
“I’m sure David and the chairman’s phones will be ringing a lot when people see we’ve won six on the bounce and they look at how well we’re playing. It’s up to them, they need to speak to me and then I’ll decide.”
“I’m happy at the moment, but it’s been a hectic few days,” he continued. “I need to speak to the chairman and David, they’re two good guys and there’s a great relationship there, but the ball is in their court. They need to decide what they want to do and what the best way forward for the club is.
“I don’t want to leave, put it that way. It’s up in the air at the moment, and my job was to see the Mansfield game through first and foremost.
“Like I’ve said, this is a very attractive job. There could be some big names who apply, and the board might be attracted by that. It’s totally their decision and I’ll respect whatever they decide.”
“If it wasn’t to be me, it would obviously depend on who the manager was to see if I would stay here,” he confirmed. “If somebody comes in who I’ve had a bit of history with and doesn’t like me, then that’s not going to work!
“We’ll see what happens, it’s been a very hectic time and I’m just really pleased we’ve won the game against Mansfield. John has left good foundations for whoever comes in to take the job on.
“We’re a bit light body wise, and we need to improve that, but we’re in a great position. It must have been a bit frustrating for the fans to lose the manager after the run we’ve been on, but we’ll just keep moving forward and see what happens.
“This is the best opportunity that’s come for Carlisle in a good while to kick on. I want us to keep playing the way we are and I want us to entertain people. While I’m here I’ll just keep doing the job.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Tommy Wright on iFollow United now.
Click HERE to see a clip from this interview on our YouTube channel. Follow the same link for more FREE content right from the heart of the club.