Chris Morgan yesterday paid tribute to departing Danny Wilson for the influence he has exerted on his career – but the new Sheffield United boss wants to be his own man in management.
Wilson – sacked by United on Wednesday with just five games of the season left – gave Morgan his debut for Barnsley 17 years ago and also handed the 35-year-old his start in coaching.
Yesterday morning, when he said farewell to the players, Wilson told Morgan to go and finish the job and win promotion. “I wouldn’t be sat here having this privileged opportunity without either Danny or Frank (Barlow – sacked assistant),” said Morgan.
“When you start as a coach you have to learn very quickly and I’ve had an opportunity to learn off two great people.
“It shows what makes the two men when they said, ‘Morgs, make sure you take the job and get United promoted’.
“It’s the measure of Danny Wilson. He’s just been relieved of his duties and he’s still got time to say that.
“Before I gave an answer to Kevin McCabe (on Wednesday) I wanted to speak to Danny, because I was part of everything they’d done and I didn’t want them asking ‘why have we gone and Morgs is still there?’
“I owe Danny a lot. He got me going in my playing career and he got me going on the coaching side.”
As picking the brains of former bosses such as Neil Warnock and Dave Bassett, he will also take a great deal from Wilson.
Morgan said: “Coaching-wise, he’s a great man-manager, the way he deals with players is excellent, the way he sets his teams up to play. These last two years United have been very structured and hard to play against. The team he had at Barnsley was flamboyant and played lots of football, but he had different personnel.
“It’s the sign of a good manager that you set your team up with the players you’ve got because not every manager is lucky enough to have loads of money to change things. That’s why he’s had such a long career.”
Morgan – who is not contemplating his future beyond the end of the season – continued: “You take advice from everybody, but you’ve got to be your own man.
“The minute you start trying to be someone else people start to see right through you.
“I’ve always been honest. As a player, if you’ve got a manager that’s honest with you, who’ll look you in the eye and treat you like a man, then you respond to that.
“The good thing from myself and David Unsworth’s (Morgan’s assistant) point of view is the structure is already in place here.
“We genuinely believe that we can get the best out of this group of players and get promotion.”