‘Fans got behind the team and it made the job easier’ - John Pemberton reflects on his time in interim charge at Chesterfield FC
Chesterfield’s fanbase were key to the Spireites’ upturn in results last season, says John Pemberton.
Pemberton, who left his academy manager role at the Proact Stadium for the Kidderminster Harriers hot seat this week, secured three consecutive draws in his brief temporary spell in charge at Chesterfield over the New Year period.
Those three draws against Hartlepool United, Solihull Moors and Ebbsfleet United steadied the ship following Martin Allen’s departure before John Sheridan’s dramatic return - and Pemberton praised the Spireites’ supporters for playing their part.
“Chesterfield’s a club that got relegated and almost got relegated again last year,” said Pemberton. “But the fans got behind us - they were great - and it does help the manager. I certainly helped me in my interim period. The fans got behind the team and it made the job easier.”
Chesterfield, with Sheridan at the helm, finished the season 15 points clear of the danger zone in the National League and Pemberton had nothing but praise for the club and its staff for the time he spent at the Proact.
“I’d like to thank Chesterfield. It’s a great club,” said Pemberton. “The staff, supporters and players have been really supportive and I’ve got some great messages. They’ve been really understanding.”
And the former Bristol City assistant manager, who has almost 20 years of coaching experience behind him including time at Nottingham Forest and Sheffield United, was keen to take the opportunity at the Aggborough Stadium.
“This was an opportunity I felt that I needed, I wanted to take,” said Pemberton.
“Colin [Gordon, Harriers chairman] tried to get me a few years ago but I was unavailable then; but it pricked my thought process when the opportunity to come this time.
“It was something I didn’t want to turn down and I am delighted to be here.”
Harriers finished 10th in the National League North last season.
Pemberton added: “It is a challenge, like everything else.
“The club is in a league it shouldn’t be in, and I know every manager will sit here and say ‘we want to get out of this league.’
“But we’re definitely going to try and do everything we can to do that.
“I’ll bring enthusiasm and discipline; I have a way I want us to play and a way I want the players to work and conduct themselves, and I think they’ll enjoy working for me.
“I just need the support from everybody at the start of the season to move forward.”