Former Shrewsbury Town boss Paul Simpson today breaks his silence, one month after being sacked, and inists that the club progressed during his two-year tenure.
Former Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Simpson today reflected on his 23-month reign by declaring: “We took this club forward.”
Speaking in his first newspaper interview since being sacked as Town chief exactly four weeks ago, Simpson admitted the disappointment at the culmination of his reign remains.
But he insisted the club has progressed from when he took over in March 2008.
“I’m proud of a lot of things that we did,” he said. “I still believe we have moved the football club on.
“I believe when you go into a football club you have to deal with the whole club – you can’t just be selfish and deal with the first team.
“As a staff, we needed to address the Football in the Community which improved and we needed to address the youth department which improved.
“Last season we won the reserve league and we just missed out on promotion.
“This season we were very close to winning the reserve league again but, as a manager, you get judged on what the first team are doing and the rest goes out of the window.
“Getting to Wembley in 2009 when 12 months earlier my job was to avoid relegation was a great achievement and a high point. This season it didn’t happen.”
Simpson, however, admitted he wasn’t taken by complete surprise by his sacking.
“I think over the whole of the season there have been different periods where it was probably going to happen,” he added.
“Lots of things happen over a season and there were things that came up which make you think your days are numbered.
“The day I got the sack, I went in to discuss the plans for next season I had given to the chairman (Roland Wycherley) about five weeks earlier.
“Unfortunately, when I got in there I was met by the chairman and Keith Sayfritz (vice-chairman)and told that I was finished. It was a bit of a surprise – but I don’t think it was too much of a shock because of what had gone on over the year.”
Despite falling off the managerial merry go-round, Simpson is determined to return to football as quickly as possible.
“I’ve put my CV in for some jobs, a couple have already gone,” he added.
“Some I have applied for I wasn’t overly keen on but others I would have been.
“I am keeping my ears open and seeing what’s coming up and just waiting for the next opportunity.
“You do wonder whether it’s all worthwhile but football’s in my blood. It’s something I want to get back into.”
By JAMES GARRISON