Too good an opportunity to turn down

Last updated : 18 August 2010 By Bladesmadeditor


Speed was unveiled as the new Blades manager at a press conference yesterday after Kevin Blackwell's tenure as Blades boss was curtailed. Speed, a former Welsh international, was refused permission from the club to speak to Swansea City, a move which would have seen him return to native land.

The manner of Kevin Blackwell's departure slightly upset Speed, as he would have liked Blackwell, the man who taught Speed a great deal about management, to leave the club on a positive note and not a game where United were mauled 0:3.

Speed, 40, says he owes Kevin Blackwell a lot, but he is delighted to have landed the Blades job and is privileged to manage a club of United's stature for his first job. He said: 

"It is a great opportunity I have been given to manage this fantastic football club, which has such a great history and tradition.

"In an ideal world it would have happened in different circumstances and I owe an awful lot to Kevin Blackwell, I learned a lot from him and it was sad how things came to an end at the weekend.

"Despite that, this is too good an opportunity to turn down and I would have never forgiven myself if I hadn't given it a shot.

"I am going to work as hard as I can to succeed, it is my first job and a big one, but I am fortunate to have a group of players here that want to be as successful as I do and I am really positive about the future.

"I spoke to my wife about the whole thing, but it was brief because she knew I was going to accept the job. I suppose she is going to be a long suffering manager's wife now, but she will give me plenty of support."

Sam Ellis remains with the club, despite rumours that he had also been given the boot after Saturday's loss, and Speed also admits that he thought he was going to be given the sack too.

He continued: "On Saturday night I thought I was out of a job, following the news about Kevin," said Speed. "Myself, Kevin and Sam had a great open relationship in that respect and we were all bitterly disappointed with the outcome at the weekend.

"Kevin was superb with me, when the club refused Swansea permission to speak to me, he was the first person I spoke to because I didn't want him to think I had an hidden agenda. He was 100 per cent behind me and very understanding, so I wish him all the best and I am sure he will make a swift return to football."

Speed's reign as Blades boss begun on Tuesday when he met the players who, of course, he is familiar with. His first test comes on Sunday when United are visitors to Middlesbrough, a match which is live on the telly.

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