An ‘older, wiser’ John Sheridan has returned to try and save Chesterfield from a ‘devastating’ third succesive relegation.
Spireites owner Dave Allen and company secretary Ashley Carson have tempted Sheridan back from League Two play-off hopefuls Carlisle.
And while getting Town back into the Football League is the ultimate aim, the short term goal for the man who once guided Town to a League Two title, is National League survival.
Sheridan, who has managed six clubs to 101 wins since being sacked by Chesterfield in 2013, admits the move is a risky one but three factors drew him back.
“Location, it was a good contract and it’s a club I know,” he said.
“I know Dave Allen very well, I know Ashley well and I think I know what I’m going into.
“I had a good relationship with Dave. Dave sacked me last time but we’ve always been on good terms.
“He wants the club to do well and he wants to get them back to where they were, so that was one of the main factors.
“I thought I was doing a really good job at Carlisle but in the back of my mind, I was thinking about next season and the budget they’ve got, where would they go?
“I wanted to get nearer to home, not that Carlisle is a million miles away, but my family is the most important thing, more than football.
“Obviously it’s a big risk but it’s a big club and I enjoyed my time there last time.”
He’s looking forward to being reintroduced to the fans on Saturday, when they host Bedford Town in the FA Trophy.
But he knows he’ll have to win a few people over.
“I’ll be excited, it’ll be good to be back,” he said.
“Not everyone will agree with the appointment, I left there with a relegation, I’m not stupid or naive.
“I’m older, a little bit wiser. I’ve done well, my manager record is not too bad at keeping teams up.
“Hopefully I can prove that.”
Sheridan admits his ‘new’ club’s current situation – third bottom of the National League – is perilous.
So his focus is entirely on safety.
“It’s a big challenge for me but it’s a challenge I’m looking forward to and one I think I’ll do well at, get them back to where they should be.
“With what’s going on off the pitch, it’s not nice to see as an outsider, I just want to go in there and try get back to normality, competing at the top of League Two and League One.
“The most important thing in my eyes is keeping them in this league.
“Chesterfield are in a bit of a desperate situation, looking at the league table, you don’t want that for any of your old clubs.
“They don’t want to keep dropping, it’s too big a club, the fanbase and what goes with it, it’s too big to be where they are at this current time so I’m hoping I go there, and the fans expect me to go in, and lift the club and get them going.
“The most important thing, my only focus, is just to keep them in the league.
“There’s a lot of rebuilding (to do) but it’s a short time now until the end of the season and it’d be devastating if the team go down.
“We’re not even thinking like that, we’re pushing on now.”
The first task for Sheridan and new assistant Glynn Snodin will be to put smiles on faces on the training ground.
“It’s difficult for them at the moment, they’re losing games.
“But one thing I can say, I was at a game on Saturday at Scunthorpe and I’m looking at the (Chesterfield) score at half-time, 3-0 down and thinking oh deary me.
“But how the game ended, getting a point out of that game in the position they’re in shows good signs.
“I’ve just got to try and get 10 and 15 per cent (more) from players, which is one of my strengths.
“I want them to come into work with a smile on their faces.
“We’re in a league of maybe seven or eight teams, let’s try to get to the top of that little league.”
While he promises to give the current players a chance, Sheridan does want to add to the squad.
And he believes his and Snodin’s contacts will be sufficient to handle recruitment, although he’ll eventually look to bring in someone to help find talent.
“Just to give us a lift, I’d like to probably being two or three players in if I can.
“But there’s some good players there.
“I’ll give everyone a chance. It’s a different manager, hopefully they’ll respond to me coming in.
“Bringing possibly two or three in would get us a bit stronger for the remainder of the season.
“I know the lower leagues very well. Obviously I can’t get out and about everywhere so I will get someone involved.
“At this moment in time I’ll just go in there with my assistant manager and we’ll deal with things.
“Got enough knowledge to know what we need and the type of players we need.”