Paul Dickov column: It’s time to be a football manager again!

I'm delighted we have kept James Coppinger
I'm delighted we have kept James Coppinger

It is time for me to concentrate on being a football manager once again – and that can only be a good thing.

It’s been a long summer and I know I won’t be the only manager out there who cannot wait for Saturday to come around.

I make no secret of the fact this summer has not been ideal but you have to just get on with it.

The bit of upheaval we’ve had with the takeover not going through which had the knock-on effect of only having a small timescale to carry out the business we needed to do – it’s fair to say you wouldn’t be hoping for those situations at the start of the summer. But football is an unpredictable business.

Ideally you would want six weeks with your squad being there or thereabouts before the season starts. Right now it feels like we’ve had six days with the lads we’ve got in.

But what has been a great help for me this summer is the manner in which the players have conducted themselves, be they those that we kept from last season or the new lads who have come in.

I have to praise them because their attitude has been outstanding. It would have been all so easy for them to spit their dummies out but they’ve stuck together and there’s a massive unity about the place.

The spirit is really good at the minute and we’re all looking forward to the weekend.

We don’t have a massive squad but we are looking to the younger lads at the club to stand up and be counted now.

We believe we have a good group of younger players at the club but they have to realise they are playing men’s football now. It’s not a case of it being the seniors and the young lads – they’re all one group.

It seems like a lot to put on the younger lads but if you are going to make it in senior football you have to stand up to these tests. They also have some fantastic experienced heads like Rob Jones and James Coppinger to be guided by.

I’m pleased what we’ve been able to do in the transfer market in such a short space of time and I’m confident we’ve put together a squad that can compete in League One. We have plenty of options in attack and I’m excited to see how each one plays out.

We’re going to need time and probably a certain degree of patience but I’m confident about what we can achieve in what is a very tough division. It starts with a tough game – it always is when you go to Yeovil.

We want to get off to a good start and we’ll be going down there to win which is how we approach every game. We’re all ready to go.