Managing Director's latest programme notes.
Good afternoon and a warm welcome to Elland Road where Paul Heckingbottom takes charge of his first home game as our new head coach.
We were delighted to be able to appoint Paul so quickly and to also ensure that he was joined by his core backroom team of Jamie Clapham, Nathan Winder and Alex Bailey.
Changing the coaching set up mid-season was not a decision we took lightly. As a club we believe that stability and length of tenure of the management team is a key pillar of long-term success. However, as we slipped further from our season’s clear objective, and with performances not positively evolving in the way we expected, a change needed to be made.
As soon as we met with Paul we knew we shared the same principles and values. Furthermore, he has excellent experience of the rigours of Championship football and has previously demonstrated he has the ability to successfully resurrect a faltering promotion challenge mid-season.
His first meeting with the players quickly established the high standards he demands of those around him and a no-nonsense approach to club discipline which I believe we have lacked to date. What also became quickly evident was, as a Yorkshire lad, the respect he has for our club and the understanding of the scale and potential.
It is also important to recognise what he achieved in his previous role where he consistently and significantly outperformed based on the resources available to him. We believe we have made an appointment that can both have an immediate impact but also grow with the club over time. Naturally we will need to have a level of patience as the squad adapts to his vision and approach but this process will be greatly accelerated by our unwavering and vocal home and away support.
Finally it is great to report that, in addition to regularly attending our home matches, Peter Lorimer has rejoined the directors party for away matches and was at Bramall Lane to present former teammate Tony Currie with a memento from Leeds United marking 50 years of service to Sheffield United. It is a morale boost for everyone at the club to have Peter back.