Mansell Backs Knill For The Job
Skipper Lee Mansell has called on the board to provide a swift resolution to our vacant managers seat after the shock news that Martin Ling was relieved of duties.
Speaking to the Western Morning News Mansell said that citing footballing reasons seemed a bit unfair for Ling's dismissal and he wants a quick resolution because those players out of contract have to sort their futures out.
'Obviously, there are lads whose contracts are up now and they are in the same boat as me as I doubt very much that they have been told anything. They probably found out on television or Twitter and it's an unsettling time for anyone, so the quicker it gets resolved, the better.'
Mansell says it should be equally as important for the club to get the situation sorted because with no manager and 15 players out of contract, if they don't act quick, players will be left with no alternative but to secure their own futures even if they are happy to stay, and ergo, the club will lose players they wanted to retain.
As for the dismissal of Ling, he adds.
'What baffles me is the footballing reasons. We were horrible against Harrogate and that was probably the lowest point during his reign for all of us. But we weren't far off the play offs with three games in hand, so we were in a half decent position. He then fell ill, which wasn't his fault. You couldn't script what was going on.'
When Ling left ill we were in 14th place, only 8 points off the play off positions, we then won at Exeter before going on a disasterous run of 7 losses whilst Shaun Taylor tried to do his best, who Mansell has a lot of sympathy for given the position he was put in...but still can't tally how it was footballing reasons when it came to Ling.
Now he's gone though, Mansell says he hopes the board will quickly appoint Alan Knill so we can have some continuation for next season.
'Personally, I would like to see Alan in charge, but the board are the decision makers. I get on well with Alan and I think the rest of the lads did as well. Alan came in and shook things up and I think - with no disrespect - we needed that. We needed a kick up the backside and then Alan came in, alongside Shaun and then Chris Brass as well, and it worked.'
Mansell says that one of the biggest differences when Knill came in was that it was official, and that was a strength that Shaun Taylor never had as it was always 'Martin could be back on Thursday' and the temporary status didn't help him.
Basically I think that politely translates as the players didn't show enough respect, whilst Taylor also maybe didn't feel he had the backing to make the changes that were required.
Alan Knill speaks for himself though, and isn't afraid to upset a few on the way.