Chairman Thomas says Cobblers have to ‘appoint right’ as they hunt for new manager

Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
Cobblers chairman Kelvin Thomas
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Chairman Kelvin Thomas has told Cobblers fans that he is trying to land a new manager ‘as quickly as possible’, but that it is more important the club ‘appoints right’.

Rob Page was sacked on Monday after eight months in charge, with a run of nine defeats in 11 games seeing him lose his job as the Town boss.

Thomas has been working hard ever since to bring in a new man, but can’t yet confirm who it will be, or when they will be taking the reins.

Various names have been linked with the job, including the likes of Kenny Jackett, Justin Edinburgh, Gary Caldwell, Nigel Adkins and John Sheridan - although it was confirmed today that the latter won’t be the new man as he has taken the Oldham Athletic job.

Thomas isn’t going to be naming any names until he has his man tied down and ready to start work.

He warned supporters to be wary of who is where in the bookies’ odds, and then said: “We have started the process and spoken to a few people, and we have had a lot of applications as you normally do, and that is no surprise.

“This is a good club, it’s a good job for people in work and out of work, and we are open to options ans different levels of experience.

“We are probably erring towards experience at the moment, but it is a difficult time with managers now.

“In the summer there is a bit more time, whereas now we want to get it done as quickly as possible with the right calibre of person.

“Managers are always going to have had not great periods, especially ones that have been at different clubs.

“You look at all successful managers, and they have all had tougher periods, and it is about getting the right fit for the club, and getting the feeling that we can push on, and they can come in and use their experience and knowledge and hopefully kick us on this season.”

With the transfer window due to shut in a little over a fortnight, there is a time pressue on hiring a new manager so that players can be brought in.

Thomas is all too aware of that, but won’t be rushed and he said: “You would always like to appoint the next day, but sometimes it’s not when things come up.

“You always should be thinking, that’s part of my role and our role as directors, in terms of we always have to be thinking and have a knowledge of managers, just like managers should always have a knowledge of players and squads.

“You do have an idea, but the reality is we have to make sure we appoint right.

“We will try and do it as quickly as we can, but we have confidence in the squad and confidence in the staff to keep it going, and they have a big game coming up against Scunthorpe and we have to make sure they are prepared.”

Thomas also spoke of the difficult decision he faced in sacking Page following last weekend’s 5-0 hammering at Bristol Rovers, and declared that he believes the Welshman will bounce back and ‘have a positive career’ in football.

“It was a difficult decision,” said the Town chairman.

“Rob is a very good guy, and I enjoyed our time together getting to know him.

“It didn’t go as well as we both would have liked, but you can’t say anything about his character or him as a man, and I think Rob will be a good manager.

“But timing wise, it probably wasn’t right here.”

Page was subjected to a lot of criticism in his final few weeks of the club, and Thomas had sympathy with his former manager for that.

“One of the sides of football that I don’t like is that we tend to de-humanise managers and people at clubs, and I think that was unfair on Rob,” he said.

“It didn’t go as well as he would have liked, or I would have liked and I take full responsibility for the decision as well, because I was part of the decision-making process to bring Rob in.

“It didn’t work out, but Rob is still a human being, he still has family, so it is always going to be a tough decision and to part company like that.

“But we made the decision, and we had to make it we felt.

“It wasn’t just about results, there were a couple of things, but I think Rob will do well.

“He will dust himself off, and any manager will tell you, and I have spoken to a few recently, that you are not really a manager until you have been sacked.

“In fairness to Rob he took it well, was professional as always, and he will have a positive career.”