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Shaw insists arguments were worth it as Rovers get right man
AN endless list of rumoured managerial targets, alleged splits in the boardroom and mounting fan frustration at the month-long process. Blackburn Rovers’ search for Steve Kean’s successor has been far from dull.
But, as Henning Berg prepares for his first game at the helm at Crystal Palace this afternoon after being given the nod on Tuesday, managing director Der-ek Shaw insists all of the club’s hierarchy are happy with the final outcome.
Shaw himself is understood to have initially wanted an experienced head in the hot seat as Rovers bid to earn an instant Premier League return, while global advisor Shebby Singh believed a ‘young and upcoming’ manager was the way to go.
Rovers’ MD was unsurprisingly not willing to go into the exact nature of the past month’s discussions but said ‘differences in opinion’ were healthy as long as they agreed in the end – and insists Berg’s apointment was a unanimous decision.
Ian Holloway, Tim Sherwood and Billy McKinlay were just some of the names discussed, and vocally debated, by Rovers’ management selection trio of Shaw, Singh and operations director Paul Agnew.
But, with Berg the man finally chosen, Shaw was adamant all at the club had agreed with the outcome.
Shaw said: “We had some wonderful candidates. We didn’t have a split, but we did have different views. I think in hindsight that is quite healthy. We have carried on interviewing, we kept meeting different people.
“Without a doubt it is natural we have different opinions. I fall out with Shebby every day, every hour. You probably fall out with your editor.
“I think it can be healthy. They are healthy internal problems and I think he is a guy I have not known long and he has not known me long. I think things are improving.
“We jointly chose the manager with the blessing of the owners.
“The owners received the CVs and as much information as we could give them on the different applicants and we are ready to push on.
“You know what it is like. You can put 10 supporters in one room and there are 10 different people who want 10 different people as managers. But thankfully we all wanted Henning as manager once we had met him and spent time with him.”
Berg was initially interviewed on Monday night, as exclusively revealed by the Lancashire Telegraph, having made his interest in the role known to the club soon after Steve Kean’s resignation.
He was on a final shortlist of three, after two of their chosen five had ruled themselves out, and after impressing in his interview is the man now charged with gett-ing Rovers back into the top flight.
“Henning contacted me not long after Steve had gone, along with many, many more and I jotted his details down,” said Shaw.
“One thing led to another. We met him first at a hotel at Manchester Airport and spoke to him for a couple of hours.
“It was a magnificent interview.
“He ticked all the boxes but the last box to tick is down to the football side. So we can look forward to that.
“It is a good end to the search.
“We are all very pleased and the pressure is now off our side of things. It is over to Henning to get on with it, to meet his players and to start getting results.
“I suppose choosing the manager is a big responsibility. It is not easy and you are surrounded by all sorts of advisors, which can only be expected in football.
“Everyone has their views but I really think we have a guy that can push this club on.
“It certainly helped us having Eric Black in charge. He has steadied the ship admirably and is a proper football man. We have real gratitude for that.
“He has done really well, we have only lost one game and he has kept us up in the play-off positions. Henning will meet Eric and the squad and it is up to them now.”
Berg has a hectic start to his Rovers career with a trip to Huddersfield Town on Tuesday following this afternoon’s Selhurst Park visit.
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