Following his re-appointment as Whitley Bay manager, albeit on a temporary basis until the end of the season, Ian Chandler acknowledged that he has retained a strong bond with the club.
He has been out of management since leaving Durham City in October and admitted that he had not watched a lot of football during the last three months.
“I’ve watched a few games, but not many, because you know what it’s like when a manager without a job goes to any kind of football. There are always rumours, so I’ve kept myself to myself,” he said.
“I came to the FA Vase game against Dunston and everybody seemed happy enough to see me, so I was quite pleased about that.
“It was good see everyone, so when the opportunity arose, it wasn’t a difficult decision really.
“It was little bit out of the blue.”
With the games coming thick and fast, there was no opportunity to meet the squad before the Northumberland Senior Cup tie against Morpeth on Tuesday night, so Chandler said he would be looking for help from his senior players.
“I think others will have an input like Michael Laws, the captain, and Callum Anderson. Although he’s still young, he’s the longest-serving player along with Craig McFarlane, and he will help,” said the Sunderland-born 47-year-old.
“Glen Martin’s back as well, so I’m sure he’ll help. Glen has always had a part to play, not just as physio.
“When I was with Steve Cuggy and Gav Fell, they all had a say, and it’s not a closed shop. I’m not like that.
“The team’s in this position for a reason, and there are players that I would like to bring to the club who, I think, will improve things, so maybe it’s for the people who are there at the minute to prove themselves really.
“There’s no one out of the door. There’s a long list of people at the club who I know. It’s about how they’re playing at the moment and whether we can we improve the team rather than just sticking with what we’ve got.”
Looking ahead to the borough derby on Saturday, he said: “I probably know as many of the North Shields team as I do the Whitley players. A lot of them used to be at Whitley.
“I hope the weather’s OK as there should be a good crowd.”