CHIPPENHAM TOWN: Players back Winter for the job
HAT-TRICK hero Tom Knighton says that the Chippenham Town squad would back caretaker boss Steve Winter if he was appointed as the Bluebirds next full-time manager.
Former Torquay United and Tiverton Town man Winter got off to the perfect start as Chippenham caretaker over the Bank Holiday weekend, guiding the Bluebirds to back-to-back victories over Hitchin Town and West Country rivals Frome Town.
A throng of managers have thrown their hats into the ring for the Chippenham job but striker Knighton, who netted three times in 17 minutes after coming off the bench against Frome, says that he’s be happy to see Winter named as Nathan Rudge’s successor at Hardenhuish Park.
“We’re all trying to back Wints now and since he’s come in, he’s been brilliant and all the lads have responded to him,” said Knighton.
“We’ll just be waiting now. I’m not sure if he has gone in for it but I’m sure he’ll have a good shout now and most of the lads would be happy with that.
“What can you say? He’s come in and won two out of two and you can’t do much more than that but, obviously, if anyone else comes in then we’ll back them.
“Rudgey leaving was a shock to everyone. Nobody really saw it coming after two games but he left for his own reasons and that’s up to him.
“We’ve got a really good team spirit and everyone’s in it together. It’s not a case of anyone leaving because the manager has changed.
“We had a bad start but it’s a long old season and we have got quality in our team. It’s going to take time but as long as we can keep everyone fit, I don’t see why we can’t do well.”
Bluebirds chairman Neil Blackmore confirmed that he has received a host of enquiries about the vacant manager’s berth but insists that he is in no rush to make an appointment.
The Chippenham board of directors are accepting applications until the beginning of next week but the Blackmore admits that he’s been impressed by caretaker chief Winter’s on-pitch interview this weekend.
The Chippenham chairman said: “We had an advert come out on Sunday but prior to that, I had 14 or 15 enquiries. So I’m expecting a few more and the closing date is next Monday – after that, the directors will draw up a shortlist from that and we’ll start our interviews.
“But I have to say, in Steve’s favour, (two wins) have been the best kind of interview.
“I’m surprised at some of the enquiries to be honest. We’ve had some from people that are managing in much higher leagues but maybe it’s perhaps that they’re assistants and they’re looking for a managerial role.
“John (Applegate, vice-chairman) is always telling me that this is a big club and he’s right because people are keen to come and work with us.
“I think that hardest part is going to be deciding who the right person is, not just for the football, but for the club.
“It’s the person that can bring the most value to the club on and off the pitch. I’m really looking for ideas from people and for them to come and sit down and tell us what they think they can do for the club.
“But we’re lucky because we’ve got Steve and he’s doing a job for us so I’m in no rush and I don’t have to go and get the first person that comes along."
Former Bluebirds chief Darren Perrin was the fans’ choice in our online poll, posted prior to Saturday's win over Hitchin, with Winter receiving only six per cent of the vote.
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