Chairman and Owner Andy Pilley has sat down with the club and told all about the steps being taken to appoint a new manager ahead of the upcoming Sky Bet League One season.
Here’s what he had to say:
On looking to appoint a new manager…
“After careful thought, I feel the right thing to do is to appoint a new manager. It’s really important as a club we get back to winning football games and achieve the goals we set for ourselves. It’s been a disappointing season and one that has been riddled with bad luck, injuries, and anything else that could have gone wrong, but we are delighted we finished the right side of the line.
“What is important here is to make the right decision rather than the quickest decision so I want to speak to numerous people here, want to think very carefully, and want to make sure that the new appointment will be one who has the best interest of Fleetwood Town at heart.
“There has been interest already and that doesn’t surprise me because we are a League One club, have exceptional facilities, and have a track record of standing by managers. It’s bound to be an attractive job for any manager who wants to prove how good they are out there.”
On Stephen Crainey and the job, he’s done…
“Let me make this clear, I think Stephen [Crainey] has done a really good job, as has Barry Nicholson who was his assistant during that period of time, in what were very difficult circumstances.
“The number of injuries we had were unprecedented and we came some close, on many occasions, to winning football games and collecting points, but we seemed to have this habit of conceding late goals or getting key players injured.
“Stephen has played a key role in the development of the younger players, who have now progressed into being regular first-team players, with some of those players also earning moves to bigger clubs as well. I really want Stephen to stay at the football club, which I’m sure he will do and, who knows, maybe this opportunity may come around again for him at some point in the future.”
On any potential candidate…
“I think the person coming in must get along with myself and Steve Curwood [Fleetwood Town’s CEO] and understand the objective of this football club. We want sporting success, but we also want to have a club where there are opportunities for younger players to get game time and cement themselves within the first team setup.
“It’s a combination of both, we want to win football game, but we also want to give young players opportunities and then, who knows, maybe see them move on to bigger and better things.”
On the foundations at Fleetwood Town…
“All the ingredients are there for success, there’s no doubt about that whatsoever. What I would say is that we were in the playoffs in two of the previous four seasons so we have a track record of being there or thereabouts and I think the right manager will have the ingredients available to him to succeed. The future is what we make of it – I’m a great believer in that.
“It’s been a torrid season, if I’m being honest, I haven’t enjoyed a lot of it because you don’t enjoy it when you lose. Whether you are a supporter, or the owner, you kick every ball and you want to win games – I can’t wait to get back to winning ways. I’m confident we will as we’ve got the nucleus of a good team and, if we shuffle that pack, we will be able to be competitive and win many games next season.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the young players who have come in when given the opportunities this season as they’ve done us proud, themselves proud and have got great futures ahead of them. The minutes that they’ve accumulated this season will prove to be valuable for them moving forwards and, as I’ve said, I think they all have great careers ahead of them.”
A message to the fans…
“We are committed to this football club being successful and with us doing that, we have to be winning football games. We are going to be working hard to get back to sporting success, something which Fleetwood Town has done for a very long time.
“We are going to be working tirelessly this pre-season, to get the recruitment right, to appoint the right manager, and to continue to liaise with Stephen [Crainey] in the Under-23s whereby we can talk about the development of the young players and work a path for them to get into the first team.”