Simon Johnson will be his own man as he takes on his first managerial role at Highgate United.
The 38 year-old former Leeds forward is the new boss at Tythe Barn Lane and i already looking for improvement on last season's albeit curtailed season which h labelled 'Not good enough."
Highgate only won one game out of eight and Johnson will demand improvement from the start, whilst recognising how tough the division will be.
And whilst he admits he will take some influences from bosses in his playing career on board, he will stamp his own mark on the job,
"My biggest influence is Mick McCarthy, even though I only had a brief spell under him at Sunderland but he was a great man-manager and I hope to be so too," he said.
“But I feel I can be my own man, I have certain standards and anyone who plays under me will need to meet those-whether it be the existing players or the new ones who come in."
Johnson made his debut at Elland Road aged 20 under Terry Venables after coming up through the youth ranks under David O'Leary
But the West Bromwich born forward fell out of favour at Leeds as the club went through some turmoil in the early part of the millennium after three top five Premier League finishes and had a number of loan spells, including under McCarthy
He eventually settled and had good two-year spells in the league with Darlington and Hereford United before moving into non-league at Halesowen Town, Bromsgrove and Solihull Moors and eventually retiring from playing at 29.
After going back to Halesowen Town to run the academy, he set up his own successful soccer school in Oldbury and took on coaching roles at Evesham and last season, Sporting Khalsa.
Now he feels he is more than ready to step up and hasn't ruled out blooding youngsters as well as recruiting from elsewhere in a bid to secure at least a top half finish for United.
“The academy is going from strength to strength and there are a number of players who have shown they can step up and are cut above, no disrespect, a lot of the people they play against.
“When I was at Leeds the attitude was if they are good enough they are old enough, I think I benefited from that and it is something I will certainly try and implement at Highgate.
"But it may need experience as well because with the likes of Hanley, Congleton and Shifnal joining the league as well as the established big hitters, it is going to be tough but I am confident in my own abilities to alllow us to compete.
Picture: Simon Johnson at Leeds during his playing days.
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