New manager Steven Pressley met the local media for the first time today having just put pen-to-paper on a deal which sees him take the Brunton Park hotseat until at least the end of this season.
Immediately apparent was his enthusiasm at having come into a club which is in such a healthy position in the league table.
“I’m obviously coming here when we’re in a situation where we’re currently in the play-off positions, which is a very exciting opportunity,” he said. “Great credit has to go to John [Sheridan] and his staff, and also the players, who have got the club into this position.
“I’m coming here with the aim and ambition to achieve promotion this season. As soon as the job became available I made enquiries very quickly, because it’s not often you take over a club at this stage of the season when they have a genuine opportunity to gain promotion. That’s the reason I wanted to be here.
“Usually when you take over it’s because things are going wrong, so coming here at a time like this is much better. Fighting relegation is very difficult, there is a lot of different pressures which come with that. It’s not only about the disappointment of relegation, at a lot of clubs it can affect people’s livelihoods. All of that pressure is a huge burden on the manager, and it’s a huge pressure to take.
“Coming here I have an opportunity to continue the success and hopefully gain promotion. Sometimes in the modern game, with all the money involved, people can actually forget what the game of football is all about. It’s about winning. It’s about having medals to show for your efforts at the end of your time. I think that’s vital, and it’s one of the really exciting aspects of this job.”
“Every job comes with its own pressure, and I would rather the pressure of expectation than the pressures I’ve endured in the past,” he continued. “I was at the game at Northampton, it was a disappointing result, but I saw the quality and I saw why the club is sitting in its current position. Hopefully over the next week or so we can add to that quality in terms of personnel.
“The only way I can describe this opportunity is that it’s very exciting. Like I say, when you look back at my managerial career, my first two jobs were about stabilising football clubs financially, developing young players and creating a sustainable club moving forward.
“My next two jobs were all about survival. I went in at Fleetwood when they were second bottom of League One and we managed to retain their league status. It was similar when I went to Pafos in Cyprus this time last year, although it was slightly warmer over there than it is here today!
“At 45 I’ve had eight-and-a-half years of management experience which has resulted in the grey beard. I’m still relatively young as a manager, and for one so young I feel I’ve had some great experiences, which I hope will help this club move forward.”
With his appointment coming at such a key stage of the campaign, he said: “I know I’ve got to hit the ground running, and fortunately in my last couple of jobs I’ve managed to do that.
“I’ve made an impact and managed to pick up points very quickly, and with us having real aspirations to get promoted, it’s vital we start by winning the game here on Saturday so that I’m doing the same here.
“The good thing is that we’ll have some continuity because of the great knowledge Tommy Wright and Paul Murray have about this club and the team. I’m absolutely happy to work with Tommy and Paul going forward.
“I know Tommy, we’ve crossed paths a number of times and he’s a terrific coach and person. He’s also a great football man. Paul worked at Fleetwood, but I wasn’t there with him. I’ve spoken to a number of people who have worked with him and they all speak very highly of him, so I’m looking forward to working with both of them.
“The great thing about working with new people is that they can bring new ideas that I haven’t previously thought about, so it’s a good period and something I’m really looking forward to.
“I think having Tommy and Paul will make my transition slightly easier because they obviously know the players. It’s different for me coming into the club as it is, because we aren’t in a situation where things are broken.
“It’s not about me coming in and making wholesale changes as I’ve had to do in other clubs to turn things around. I will make changes in time, but at this moment there’s not significant changes required. I’ll make one or two tweaks, but I’ll speak to Tommy and Paul about that as well.
“My first job now is to build good relationships with the players and staff and to try to create an environment that breeds positive results. The players themselves seem very comfortable, so I’m not sure why I would change much at all with 18 important games to go.”
We’ll have more from the new manager on the official website on Thursday morning.
Click HERE to watch an interview with Steven Pressley on iFollow United now.
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