All my efforts have been aimed at this
Reporter: Lee Johnson
Date online: 19 March 2013
Oldham’s new manager on his approach to the game
I DON’T feel any pressure at the moment. I just feel excited to get the adventure under way.
I have a lot of ideas and they will have to be phased in gradually.
I can only give it my best, which I definitely will. All I ask from the fans is that they give the team support for every 90 minutes, which is so important in the current situation.
For the last eight-10 years I have been working towards something like this. I’ve visited Barcelona, Madrid, Feyenoord, Skonto Riga and even Tottenham and Arsenal, just to learn. You speak to the top people and add little bits to your philosophy and suddenly, you are able to build around that.
I have had my dad Gary, a manager for 20 years, and he has been great with me. We have discussed pretty much every decision he has ever made.
Management is in your blood. I was picking my dad’s teams for him at nine or 10. This seems like a natural progression. I don’t feel like a total rookie. I feel I have a lot of experience, albeit second hand.
I am ecstatic that I have this opportunity, at a fantastic club with a superb history and with a group of players who have a great chance of getting out of trouble.
I will give it my best. I have learned a lot through my travels and I have a lot of people in the game who believe in me. It is nice to be backed by people like that at such a young age.
I understand Athletic fans would probably have wanted a big name in the current situation. What I can promise is that I will be here from dusk till dawn, working as hard as I can.
It means getting players in who can serve the club and the fans. I am talking about personality and ability and getting the best possible value for the club so we are effective on the pitch.
I am fresh from being a player so I know exactly how important the spirit and energy of the crowd is to the team. That is what we need at this moment.
First and foremost, I have to galvanise the players. They have to know I trust them and want them to do well.
If they have the ignition to be the best they can be as a group, then fantastic, they can go a long way.
If I feel they haven’t and that they are not representing the club and fans, they move on and we bring someone else in. Everyone has a chance.
I appreciate this is a very left-field appointment but all I can say is that I am here and willing to give it a really good go.
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