Manager search ‘well underway’ - Sharpe

David Sharpe, left
David Sharpe, left

Chairman David Sharpe says he is ‘well underway’ with the process of identifying Wigan Athletic’s new manager.

While Graham Barrow steered the ship to the end of the campaign on an interim basis, Sharpe’s attention is already firmly focused on next season in League One.

“This season has been a difficult and challenging experience for everyone involved with Wigan Athletic, including the board of directors, staff, supporters and players,” acknowledged Sharpe.

“After the tremendous season we enjoyed in 2015-16, our targets for this year were to stabilise in the Championship, consolidate and re-establish ourselves at this level.

“We have not been able to achieve those targets, unfortunately, and that is very disappointing.

“All that is in the past now, and in football the next opportunity is always around the corner.

“In the same time that this time last year we savoured our success but quickly started planning for this season, we cannot afford to get too down because there is a new challenge ahead of us.

“The future will be more difficult without the benefit of Premier League parachute payments, which come to an end at the end of June, but I believe we are well positioned to move forward with confidence.

“Our immediate priority is to identify and appoint a first-team manager or head coach.

“That recruitment process is already well underway, and we will focus on ensuring that we appoint a manager who fulfils the criteria we have set in terms of the type of person we wish to employ and someone who has the ambition, drive and intelligence to enhance and help develop the structure we have created over the last few years.

“It’s important to appoint someone who will create a culture for success, which is something we have failed to do this season.”

Sharpe also used his programme notes before Sunday’s season-ending clash with Leeds to assure supporters that Latics have a solid enough platform from which to hopefully build a promotion push next term.

“Unlike in 2015, when we had to significantly rebuild the squad, the basis of a very strong group of players is already in place,” he revealed.

“We may see some movement in the transfer market, and we want players who are prepared to achieve success in League One next season.

“But compared to previous transfer windows, we will not have the same level of movement.

“Stability is important, and we will stress that to any new manager.”