BRADFORD CITY caretaker manager Greg Abbott admits it has been a challenge separating his personal emotions from his professional focus during a sombre week following the managerial exit of good friend Stuart McCall.
Head of recruitment Abbott, a team-mate of McCall’s in the Eighties, will be in charge for tomorrow’s home game with Bury and Tuesday’s trip to Charlton, assisted by Kenny Black.
On a difficult time for the staff and players, Abbott, who returned to City shortly after McCall took over for a second time in June 2016, said: “It has not been an easy week. Monday was a really tough day for everybody.
“On a personal note, you see a very good friend and work colleague lose his job and see the disappointment spread around the football club and also in the city itself.
“You have two emotions. Personally, it is not easy to detach yourself, but professionally we have to. We have tried to let everything settle down and be sympathetic to the situation with regard to Stuart, the fans, the board, everybody.
“We are just getting rid of that sombreness at the training ground. We could not walk in singing and dancing, but it is our job to lift the group.
“There is a respect margin to everybody here and I, more than anybody, know that Stuart is probably going to be the most popular person ever to put on a Bradford City shirt.
“He is a very proud man and he will be very hurt – and there are a lot of hurt supporters with a lot of opinions.
“They are entitled to that and if their opinion is one of disappointment then we, as a club, have to respect that.
“We know it is there and there is no point in going against that. The guy is one of the greats of this football club.”
Backing McCall to make his return to football once the hurt from this week’s events abates, Abbott added: “He is a dignified, very honest man. It will be hurting at the minute. The phone gets less rings.
“For Stuart’s sake, let us hope he gets something that suits him going forward because he is a very good football man.
“There are jobs out there, but he needs to spend a little bit of time picking himself up because this will hurt him.”
On his role after being handed the reins on a temporary basis for two matches, Abbott confirmed: “We have been asked to do the games on Saturday and Tuesday. If that changes and they get someone in, that is fine.
“If we win both, it does not change anything. The club will make their own call and the fans will make their own opinions.
“We want to see the club back on a winning streak and that helps rectify things quickly and the mood swing.”