TOM SHAW doesn’t want the manager’s job at Chester but insists the team will ‘find the spark’ required to turnaround their ailing fortunes.
The 30-year-old has been placed in caretaker charge of the Blues for their next three matches, starting with tomorrow’s visit of Ebbsfleet United, following Jon McCarthy’s sacking on Wednesday morning.
Player/coach Shaw is desperate to bring a halt to Chester’s dreadful run of home form having gone a club record-equalling 14 matches without tasting victory at the Swansway Chester Stadium.
The popular midfielder accepts it’s a ‘strange feeling’ to take over from McCarthy on a temporary basis and believes it crucial for the supporters to help lift the ‘anxiety and tension’ surrounding the team on home soil.
“I think the club will want to appoint a more experienced manager than myself,”said Shaw. “It’s strange leading training and there’s a few lads in a different frame of mind down there, there’s still a sense of shock with the results.”
Shaw, who revealed Ross Hannah is in line to start tomorrow although Ryan Astles may be forced to sit out again with a knee injury, added: “Everyone can see how right everything Jon was doing was, but we’ve got to pick the lads up now. We don’t want to miss out on points and we’re going to try and win as many as possible.
“There will be a few changes but the environment we’ve created here is right so I’m not going to go too far away from that. There will be changes though to try and get a reaction from certain players and units in the team.
“We’ve got to find that spark that hasn’t been there so far this season. We have to make that happen.”
Asked what he puts the depressing run of home form down to, Shaw replied: “There’s been a lot of tension, a hangover from last season. The fans want to see their team winning at home, that’s only fair, I completely understand that.
“The new group of staff and players think that’s been inherited from last season and it’s hard to shake. There’s been tension in the body language and within the group.
“We need the supporters to completely flip it now and be really, really positive to fill our boys with confidence. To find that spark they need the backing of the management, their fellow players and the fans, because we’ve definitely got to get some positive results.
“You feel it, I felt the anxiety as a player. You don’t want to make the mistake that gets jeered, that gets the blame.
“We’ve been reactive as a group of players and now is the time to get on the front foot and put our necks on the line to make something happen. They have our backing to make that happen.”
Shaw, handed the assistant manager’s job in the summer by McCarthy, admits it’s been sad to see the 47-year-old depart and described him as a ‘terrific bloke’ on and off the pitch.
When asked if he’d be interested in the job on a full-time basis, Shaw suggested the board are looking to appoint a ‘more experienced’ manager than himself, but would love to play a role in any new backroom staff.
“It’s tough, really tough to take, Jon’s done a hell of a lot for this football club,” he added.
“He worked endless hours, gave it everything and he’s a terrific bloke away from football too. He’d do anything for you, for the players, the staff and the board. He gave it his all.
“I’ll stay in contact with him forever, he’s a mentor to me. Maybe we’ll work together again one day but I’ve now been fortunate enough to lead the boys out for this next patch of games and I’m excited about it and hopefully we can be successful.
“If we win 6-0 then yeah, I might think about applying! But I still love playing and I love coaching, I think I’ve found something I’m confident doing.
“I’d love to keep the coaching going, that’d be the ideal situation but it’s a strange game. People come in, they have their own people.
“I’m on a playing contract too so whatever happens, play, coach, I’ll be behind that.”
See full story in the Chester Leader