FIRSTLY, can I join everyone else in welcoming our new manager, Mark Robins, to the football club.
Dean Hoyle and the board went through over 50 applications for the job and, after rightly taking their time to make a very important choice, I know they are confident they have got the right man.
Mark has fantastic experience in the game both as a player and a manager and, when he has been in charge at Rotherham, Barnsley and Coventry, he has been very popular with supporters.
I expect nothing less here, and I can tell Mark from years of my own experience that he will get every assistance to make a success of things from all the staff here at the club.
Mark and his new first-team coach Steve Taylor will find it a very friendly environment to work in and I’m sure they realise that being in charge of this club at this time is a very attractive proposition.
Sure, we want to pull further away from the bottom of the table than we are at the moment, but we are a big club that can become established at this level and look to move on from this foundation.
The great thing is that we have a chairman in Dean who has the club at heart.
He is providing fantastic backing for every aspect of the club going forward, and he’ll back Mark to the hilt to keep us progressing from a football point of view.
Some people might disagree with my statement that we are a big club, simply because there are some who are bigger in the Championship at the moment, but we are a big club and we are a very well-run big club, and that makes us attractive from a management point of view.
There are plenty of bigger clubs around, but a lot of them are in absolute turmoil and you wouldn’t want to go near them, so the fact we are well run and have a very stable situation is massively in our favour.
That’s why we had so many good applicants for the job.
We are also well run through the age-group levels and Academy, and I’m sure everyone will join with me in congratulating Mark Lillis on the job he has done both in the Academy and as caretaker.
He loves the club, which is why Dean had no qualms about putting him in caretaker charge, and along with Steve Eyre he has lifted the players, which is a great platform for the new boss.