Peter Shirtliff Column

We've all seen "The Non-League Paper" in our newsagents over the years, well now there is an addition to the family, with "The League Paper", which is out Every Sunday. With the demise of Football First/Sport First, the paper is an excellent focal point for all League Clubs and their supporters.

In this weeks edition, Peter Shirtliff is a guest writer (transcribed by Michael)

Guest column by the Mansfield manager

Hard work starts now:

WHEN I was appointed manager at Mansfield this week, I sat down with the players and thanked them for all their efforts.

The results over the last six weeks since I have been caretaker manager have had a major impact on me getting the job and I’m grateful to the players.
We have moved off the bottom of the table, but there is no point us sitting back now and thinking everything is fantastic. We need to continue the improvement and keep working hard.
I enjoyed being caretaker manager and, to be quite honest, I got on with it like I was the manager from the off.

The board have been good to me. They allowed me to get on with the job and I didn’t pester the chairman Keith Haslam to make a decision one way or the other. He’s been pleased with the improvement, but, as I’ve said, it is just a start.
I have had a few situations when I have been on shortlists for managerial jobs in the past, so I’m grateful this chance has come my way and intend to make the most of it.

I was appointed when Carlton (Palmer) left because he bought me to the club, but I could understand his reasons for going and he told me straightaway to go for the job. I spoke to him earlier in the week and he was delighted for me that I had got it.
I’ve got my own management ideas and I don’t intend to model myself on anyone – I’m going to be my own man. I learned a lot from playing under the likes of Howard Wilkinson, Lennie Lawrence, Ron Atkinson, Graham Taylor and Jack Charlton in my career.
Indeed, I played under three international managers in Jack Charlton, Howard Wilkinson and Graham Taylor. They all made me captain at some time or other, which isn’t a bad record.

I’ve also got to thank the fans for being positive too. They have seen some good performances and are really getting behind us.
My first game since being appointed manager will have been yesterday’s game at Rotherham in the FA Cup. It will have been a difficult one, but I am sure we will have had a go. I know from my playing days that Mick Harford’s side will be competitive – I’ve got the scars to prove it.

I’m looking to strengthen the squad all the time and there is a little bit of money to spend, but not a fortune. It will be a case of trying to get a couple of players in on loan, but the current squad is adequate and I think we can work on improving the players we’ve already got.
I’m delighted with our strikers Richie Barker and Simon brown. They have started playing with a bit of confidence and they look a real threat.
At the other end, Kevin pressman has done well. It shows how old Kevin is that I used to be a team-mate of his at Sheffield Wednesday. He’s made some really good saves of late and is a nice steadying influence on the team. We are quite a young side and Kevin has got the presence and experience we need at the back.

I like to keep an eye on how my other clubs are doing and I was really pleased Wednesday got promoted last season and I hope they manage to stay up this year. They have got such fantastic support.
Another of my former clubs, Charlton, are really going well in the Premiership and are a model for Football League clubs. I think Alan Curbishley is the second longest serving manager in the Premiership and he’s a good lad. I’m really pleased for him and the club.
I had three fantastic years there. Lennie Lawrence was manager and I was captain. We didn’t set the world alight, but staying in the old First Division was success in itself in those days.
Alan has done an incredible job and been consistently successful for so many years. I’ll be delighted if I can do the same.