CHRIS Morgan has insisted ‘I’ll be my own man’ as he prepares to take charge of Sheffield United for the first time tomorrow, writes James Shield.
Morgan, who was unveiled as the League One club’s new manager yesterday, revealed predecessors Neil Warnock and Kevin Blackwell were among those to offer their support when news of his appointment broke earlier this week.
But Morgan said: “You’ve got to take advice but you’ve also got to be true to yourself and make your own decisions. That’s what I’ve learned from all of the people I’ve worked for in the past.
“Neil got in touch to wish me all the best and Blacky sent me a text too. I’ve had quite a few from other people in the game too and that’s really appreciated.
“I’m not short of people to have a word with about something if necessary which is a nice position to be in.
“But the one thing they’ve all taught me is that you’ve also got to stand on your own two feet. Because, the minute you don’t and you let others start taking decisions for you then there’s a big chance you’ll regret it.”
Morgan, who replaced Danny Wilson at the helm on Wednesday, will make his debut in the Bramall Lane dug-out against a Swindon Town team also vying for promotion.
United are fifth in the table with five matches of their campaign remaining and, speaking during his official unveiling, the 35-year-old revealed why honesty, integrity and determination will be the hallmarks of his reign.
“I’ve always tried to be myself,” Morgan, who made over 200 appearances for United as a player, said. “Because the minute you try to be something you’re not then people see right through you.
“As a player, I always wanted someone who will look you in the eye and treat you like a man.
“David (Unsworth) and I have told the lads what we expect of them and we’ve also asked them what they expect from us.
“Everyone knows where they stand and that’s important.”
Morgan, who will be assisted by Unsworth until their positions are reviewed at the end of the campaign, added: “We genuinely believe in the group of players we’ve got here and we’ve made that clear.
“We want to try and get the best out of them because, if we do that, then they are more than capable of going up.
“We’ve got youth, experience and even naivety from some of the very young lads which, as far as I’m concerned, is also no bad thing because they’re fearless.”
Morgan, previously United’s under-21 coach, was installed when Wilson paid the price for a disappointing sequence of results on home soil culminating in Tuesday’s defeat by Crawley.
But, paying tribute to the former Northern Ireland international, he said: “I wouldn’t here, having such a privileged opportunity, if it wasn’t for Danny and (assistant) Frank (Barlow).
“They gave me my chance as a coach and they didn’t have too. They’ve taught me so much.
“We’ve all got a responsibility for what’s happened to Danny and Frank. And the way we have to repay that is by carrying on their good work, getting the lads to go out there and show what good players they are.”
“When I spoke to Danny the first thing he said was ‘Morgs, take the job and make sure you get promoted,’” he continued. “He’s always been great to me and I wanted his blessing and his backing.
“It’s a measure of the man that I got it.”
Morgan, who watched Unsworth take training yesterday, said: “People will make mistakes, us included, but it’s how you react that counts.”