Graham Barrow says the response from the Wrexham players after he took interim charge of the club convinced him to go for the main job.
Barrow was unveiled as the 32nd permanent manager of Wrexham AFC, signing a 2.5-year deal, which will run until 2021.
The 64-year-old says he is delighted to have been handed the reigns on a permanent basis, insisting he had never fully ruled himself out of the running.
“I was never, in all honesty, not interested. But when you work with managers, I think there has to be a cooling off period,” he explained.
“Fortunately for me, the board did not appoint anybody straight away, as it was a shock to the system to everybody when Sam left.
“But it was probably, ironically, the away game at Newport [when I realised I wanted the job]. Down to ten men after 12 minutes and the response from the players was fantastic. I don’t care about the scoreline – it wasn’t a 4-0 game – the response from the players that night outweighed beating Eastleigh.
“I just thought, these lads are going to give everything every game so why not stay with them.
“I didn’t take the job just to stop somebody taking it. I waited, and thought about it, and thought, why not? Why not me? So here I am.”
Barrow hailed the pride and passion of the club and the Racecourse faithful, as well as the character of the dressing room.
And he insists he is not under-estimating the task of taking the manager’s job on a full-time basis as the club continue to fight for promotion.
The new Dragons manager says the process of recruitment, and looking at options for transfers in January, is already well underway too.
“I’ve been here long enough already to know what pride there is about the club. That’s what struck me from day one.
“Hopefully, continuity is a major thing. It’s dead easy to say the dressing room’s fantastic and the lads are great, but it is a fact.
“One thing I’ve always stressed is one individual, the captain, has always struck me – he is key to the dressing room. There was already that basis to work from and we had to add more good characters and more good players.
“I’ve always spoken about the passion, but I know that with the passion comes a pressure to get results.
“It’s much better to take over a club in this situation, but I would like to think I was a part of getting the club to where it is, and it’s our job now to pick up and take it forward.
“We’d already started the process of recruitment for January, but now the weight is firmly on my shoulders.
“My missus has given up talking to me the last few days now because she just doesn’t get an answer!”
Football club director Spencer Harris also reiterated the board’s delight in appointing Graham as permanent manager, after a busy few weeks for the club.
“It’s been a very, very busy couple of weeks for the board,” he said. “We’ve left no stone unturned in making sure we cast the net wide, and made sure we were making the right appointment for the football club.
“It just so happens the outstanding candidate was already here. We’ve spoken with Graham for the last ten days in quite some depth.
“Continuity is always a factor but it wasn’t the deciding factor in this case. Continuity will be very welcome and will help us for sure, but it was less about continuity and more about the outstanding character of the man.
“You can see the reaction we have had from the players. Don’t underestimate the input and the amount of influence Graham and the backroom team have had on a really good start to the campaign.”