Joey Barton knows he has to prove Fleetwood were right to appoint him as permanent boss instead of his experienced predecessor John Sheridan.
Barton expressed his gratitude to new Carlisle United boss Sheridan for his work to ensure Town's new head coach did not inherit a team relegated to League Two.
Sheridan took over from Uwe Rosler in February and steered Fleetwood to safety in his 13-game tenure.
Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley has since revealed the decision to install Barton had already been made when Sheridan began his short reign, though the 35-year-old’s appointment was only confirmed on April 18.
Sheridan has replaced Keith Curle at League Two Carlisle and Barton backed the 53-year-old to be a hit in his new role in Cumbria.
Carlisle is Sheridan’s seventh club as manager and he has had five stints at Oldham, whereas Barton has never coached before.
Asked if he had spoken to Sheridan, Barton said: “I haven’t.
“It was obviously quite strange in that it was announced while John was still in charge.
“He’d had a positive run of results and I think the club and myself want to pass our gratitude on to John.
“It worked both ways, though, because I think John was maybe in the football wilderness.
“He was probably waiting for the phone to ring to get a job and Andy gave him that opportunity.
“He grasped that with two hands and had a strong end of the season to make sure the club was not looking over their shoulder.
“Coming out of that it was a win-win for everyone.
“John will get more opportunities because he did a good job. He has proven he is a good manager over time.
“He is probably really unfortunate not to be sitting here as Fleetwood’s manager today but that is the nature of the industry.
“I think John will go in and be successful elsewhere.
“Luckily for me I get the opportunity at Fleetwood and I have got to prove that it was the right decision to replace him with me.”
Barton says what he learned watching Sheridan’s team from the stands was that he is inheriting players who do know how to win football games.
The former midfielder spent the last four months of his ban researching both League One and League Two – given that Town’s precarious position when he agreed to take over meant he could not be sure which division they would be in next season.
Town were on an eight- match losing run when Sheridan arrived but he transformed the team and guided them to a 14th-placed finish.
Barton admitted there was a time when he feared he would be managing in the fourth tier and he praised the work of Sheridan.
Now Barton hopes to build on that good work. He said: “They have shown towards the end of the season that they know how to win football games because there was a period when I thought I might be managing in League Two next season.
“There was a real horrible run of results in the middle of it and I think they showed enormous character.
“People are forgetting the job John Sheridan has done. It was a great job and John probably will be disappointed that he never got the opportunity to continue the great job that he had done at the back end of the season.
“I just have to build on that.”