Tommy Wright has revealed the shock behind his appointment as Nuneaton Town manager but outlined his determination to improve the club’s current situation.
That situation sees them sitting in nineteenth position in the Vanarama National League North table, with only a superior goal difference keeping them out of the relegation zone.
A run of just one win in eight games – a Birmingham Senior Cup win over Evo-Stik NPL club Rushall Olympic – led to the departure of former manager Kevin Wilson, with Wright offered the opportunity to replace the former Chelsea and Northern Ireland striker.
He accepted that challenge but admitted that the experience has been something of a “whirlwind” for the club.
“It’s been tough for everyone I think” said the former Darlington player.
“I’ve come out of an awful ending to my time at Corby and to be honest it was like a massive weight off my shoulders.
“I was offered a role here and it was one that I was happy with but it was a shock to see how things have worked out.
“It was a whirlwind couple of days and me and Chets (assistant manager Steve Chettle) were just coaching the academy when things happened.
“Now we are settling in we just want to do well and click things into gear here.
“I feel like my reputation took a hit with the relegation at Corby last season and now I see this as a chance to restore my reputation and it’s one that I hope to take”
The majority of the Nuneaton squad were brought to the club during Wilson’s eighteen month stay at the club.
The former Ilkeston manager (pictured left) spoke to his squad in the immediate aftermath of his departure, leaving many of them in show.
After he left Wright and assistant Chettle took a training session, as preparations continued for their National League North game at FC United of Manchester.
That session “didn’t feel right” according to Wright, but he believes that his squad are improving with the shock of Wilson’s departure now behind them.
“The players reacted well but obviously it was a shock to them” he said.
“On the day it broke Kevin (Wilson) spoke to the players to tell them he was leaving before we were there.
“Then we came in and spoke to them and it was strange because obviously there was a fair amount of shock in the room.
“We trained as usual and it didn’t feel right, it was still a bit raw, nobody really enjoyed the session.
“But now we are getting used to it and the players have reacted well, we know what we have to do going forwards and I think the players are improving every day”
After two weeks in the role Wright is keen to add to his Nuneaton squad, although he refuted claims that “major changes” were required in order to lift them away from the National League relegation zone.
Gateshead striker Reece Styche (pictured right) became Wright’s first new addition last week, joining the club on loan until January.
A second new addition came over the weekend as Exodus Geohaghon returned to Nuneaton in a player-coach role.
However the former Tamworth forward stressed that all of the current members of the squad will get a change to impress, as he challenged them to prove their critics wrong in the coming weeks.
Wright said “We need to add to the squad but it won’t be major changes, not at all.
“We have a lot of players in the squad and they will get an opportunity to show us what they can do, to show what they can bring to the table.
“We have challenged them and we have said that they have an opportunity to go and answer the critics, go and show them what they can do.
“It’s natural to want some of your own players and hopefully that can happen but this group of players will be given a chance too”
Wright faces his first home game as Nuneaton boss when Alfreton Town visit Liberty Way on Saturday.
A win could see the club move within touching distance of their opponents, with Wright describing the it as “a big game”.
But he insisted that he doesn’t want to focus solely on staying in the National League North.
“Alfreton is a big game but it’s too early to just talk about staying up. There is a lot of football to be played between now and the end of the season and anything can happen.
“I am sure the Nuneaton Town supporters would take survival right now.
“We know we have to improve, we know we have to adjust and we know that we have to show real character to get this club away from the dogfight.
“I believe we can do that”