DANNY Wilson has revealed how he cut short his holiday to become Sheffield United manager.
The former Northern Ireland international, who signed a three year rolling contract after replacing Micky Adams last month, admitted he was aware his appointment would be greeted with incredulity by some supporters.
But Wilson, who represented Sheffield Wednesday as a player before taking charge at Hillsborough, insisted the temptation of being asked to transform United’s fortunes proved impossible to resist.
“I was on a break abroad when I heard,” he said. “I got a phone call asking if I would be interested in discussing the job a bit more and so I packed my stuff and jumped on the first plane back home.
“I wasn’t going to hang around. No way.
“What did I think when the people here told me they wanted to talk? Well I was absolutely delighted, excited and very flattered.”
Wilson inherited a squad of players still coming to terms with being relegated from the npower Championship when he accepted plc chairman Kevin McCabe’s invitation to succeed Adams.
With high-earners such as Ched Evans and Darius Henderson almost certain to leave, despite the latter’s insistence that he will not ask for a transfer, a series of high-profile departures behind the scenes, most notably chief executive Trevor Birch, has only added to the sense of disarray.
Wilson’s first task, other than identifying potential new signings, will be to repair United’s fractured confidence after losing 15 of their 24 games under Adams’ tutelage.
“To be given this responsibility is a massive privilege,” he said.
“It’s a job that I’m looking forward to tackling and getting on with.
“Of course it’s not going to be easy. Nothing in this business ever is.
“There are different challenges and problems to overcome everywhere else and there are ones here. I don’t think anyone has ever tried to disguise that.
“But with plenty of hard work, which I’ll certainly be bringing with me, then I’m confident that we can get things right.”
United are auctioning match-ready shirts, prepared for last month’s FA Youth Cup final second-leg, in an effort to raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust and Karl Darby Fund.
Supporters have until next Monday to place their bid on eBay.
“These shirts are unique in that they are match ready with embroidered details of the final, include the Respect and E.ON logos, are numbered and all the players’ signatures are on each and every one,” Dave McCarthy, United’s head of operations, said.
Wilson is expected to hold talks with one of those – Jordan Slew – later this week after Fulham expressed an interest in the teenage striker.
United are understood to have tabled a new contract with Slew’s representatives towards the end of last season when he cemented a first-team place.