Carlisle boss Steven Pressley spoke last season about the importance he places on the manager-captain relationship and, with a number of possible armband contenders already in the building, he revealed that he’ll be looking to form a group of players who will provide a line of important communication between the manager’s office and the dressing room.
“I’ve said before that the core we want is of a young, dynamic, energetic team, but within that you need stabilisers who can add a bit of experience and knowledge,” he said.
“You’re looking at players like Mike Jones, Adam Collin and Byron Webster for that, because they can be very good influences and they’re also terrific people.”
When pushed on the presence, coupled with experience, that a player like Byron Webster brings to the group, he commented: “When it comes to leaders, and the captain’s armband, Byron is one of three or four I think have that ability.
“Within the club we’ll form a group of players who will liaise with me regularly on certain aspects. In many respects that controls the dressing room and it also helps to let me know what the concerns or even positive feedback is at any given time during the season.”
Now back in pre-season training, the players were challenged by the manager to set some of their own goals and targets when he welcomed them back into the building ahead of the first training session.
“What we want to achieve this season is something I will spend time discussing with my players, and that process started when I got them together for the first time on Thursday morning,” he told us. “It can’t be a dictatorship. It must be an environment where the players feel a degree of responsibility.
“Once I lay down everything to them and discuss all the aspects of how we’re going to go about the job, I think they will then decide where we’ll finish, and that puts the responsibility on them.
“I think it’s important moving forward that it isn’t me who is relaying a message with a squad sat in front of me which doesn’t believe in that message. This is why, over the course of pre-season, we’ll sit down as a group and set clear goals as a team that we all buy into and we all think are achievable.
“It’s important for us to do that, in my opinion. We want to bring excitement and a style of football that the supporters can really relate to, but we also want to have achievable goals.”
“I’m really looking forward to the new season,” he reiterated. “We’re sitting in what is going to be the new players’ lounge, we’ve spent money on the training pitch, and we’ve put together a new analysis suite.
“There are a lot of positive things happening. These things don’t guarantee that you’ll win games, but there are little bits coming together which make us a far more professional outfit.
“In this new players’ lounge we’ve just had some quotes I selected put onto the walls, and one of them is ‘the price of greatness is responsibility’ from the great Winston Churchill. It’s a really important message.
“Sometimes when the manager is dictating all aspects you don’t get the buy-in from the players. I want the players to be driving it. I’ll set the standards and demand the standards, but I want the players to be pushing those standards all the time.
“To do that you need a group of players who feel part of things, which is what I want to create.”
Click HERE to watch an interview with Steven Pressley 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.