JACKO: I WILL SAVE SHREWS
MICHAEL JACKSON has had quite a baptism of fire in his first foray into management, but, just like in his playing career, the Shrewsbury caretaker isn’t going to shirk any challenge.
The former Preston and Blackpool centre-back took the temporary reins from Shrews legend Graham Turner last month and is desperate to land the job on a full-time basis.
He’s got one game left of the initial three – subsequently extended to five – matches he was given by chairman Roland Wycherley to stake his claim for the job permanently.
According to striker Tom Eaves, the Shrews players want Jackson to be made their permanent boss but whatever happens in the coming weeks he believes he will crack management – with or without the Shrews.
“I’ve absolutely loved the responsibility of putting my stamp on the place,” said the 40-year-old, who was Turner’s first-team coach.
“Having done all my badges and completed the UEFA Pro Licence 18 months ago I wanted to be a manager when I was 40. If it hadn’t come here I was planning to have a good look towards the end of the season and in the summer.
“It’s been absolutely manic, 100 miles per hour stuff at times. The biggest change is the phone – it has hardly stopped ringing at all times of the day.
“That’s why being on the training pitch and game time is the most enjoyable.”
It’s been hard on his wife Chloe and children Dylan, 9, Sam, 8 and Harvey, 3, who have had to cary on without him.
“I’ve hardly seen my wife and kids but they all understand what this means to me and how driven I am to succeed,” added Jackson.
“If it’s not to be at Shrewsbury then so be it but I will know I’ve given it everything and will use this experience to make sure it goes well in the future.
“Having been a captain, senior player and then first-team coach this has kicked me on again in my career and given me even more motivation to be the best manager I can be.”
In his playing days Jackson was one of the most reliable defenders around in the Football League, working under David Moyes at North End before watching Turner closely at the Shrews.
He has also called on former Bradford and Wigan boss Chris Hutchings as a temporary assistant in recent weeks but has vowed to follow his own instincts in life in the hotseat.
“I was very fortunate to work with some very good managers in my career – from David at Preston to the likes of Stan Ternent at Bury and then Graham here,” added Jackson.
“I’ve learned things from all of them and that’s helped in recent weeks but I’ve always been my own man and I always will be. I believe I’m good at what I do, it’s just up to me to prove it where I get the chance.
“I believe I’ve had a response from the players. We’ve been a lot more positive in our approach on and off the pitch and we just need a result or two to go for us now.
“If we can get one or two wins I believe plenty more will follow in the next couple of months and we will be OK in the league table.
“The chairman has backed me since I took the job so I’d love to repay that faith and hopefully we will all go forward together in the long term.”
CONFIDENT: Stand-in boss Michael Jackson says his side just need a result or two to go their way
BACKING: Tom Eaves