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Cambridge United interim manager Barry Corr rules himself out of the running for the job on a permanent basis

Interim manager Barry Corr has ruled himself out of the running to be the next permanent Cambridge United boss.

Corr – along with Kevin Betsy – will take charge of the U’s for tomorrow’s Emirates FA Cup second round tie at home against Fleetwood Town after the decision was taken to part company with Mark Bonner earlier this week.

However, Corr, who had been a part of Bonner’s coaching staff since 2021, does not feel ready to be a number one.

Cambridge United assistant head coach Barry Corr. Picture: Simon Lankester
Cambridge United assistant head coach Barry Corr. Picture: Simon Lankester

He said: “The time will come when that is my ultimate ambition. I want to be a manager, but at the moment I’m in the process of educating myself towards that.

“You know that in football you might only get one opportunity at it and I want to make sure I’m fully ready. I’m doing lots of external education at the moment.

“Ultimately I would like to, but I don’t want to take this job and there’s definitely going to be an external candidate.”

Despite having no interest in replacing Bonner at this stage of his career, Corr did reveal that he would be open to the prospect of remaining at the Abbey Stadium as part of a new management team.

He added: “It’s a strange period and a real delicate situation as well. I would like to be part of it but we’ll have to wait and see what that process looks like.

“With new people coming they might want to have their own staff.

“As staff (at the moment), we’ll do everything right, be super professional and what will be, will be.”

The 38-year-old was also keen to pay tribute to the ‘selfless leader’ that he has worked closely alongside over the last few seasons.

Bonner initially made Corr his first-team coach before promoting him to the role of assistant ahead of the current campaign getting under way.

“His contribution can’t be understated at all. The staff room was upset, the players were upset. I said this to the players, whether you’re in the team or not, he treated everybody with real respect and treated them properly,” he said.

“That’s not always common in football. The players will have been upset with what’s happened.

“Everybody knows – I don’t need to say the achievements he’s had at the football club.

“When he took over we were probably favourites with bookmakers to be relegated from League Two. We had a promotion season and he gave supporters so much joy in such a difficult time in lockdown.

“Society was struggling and he gave the city of Cambridge a real lift when everybody was stuck in their houses.

“We’re stable in League One and had some amazing results against some big teams – the FA Cup game against Newcastle. They’re all things that are very objective that everybody knows about.

“But from my point of view, I look at him and think he was such a selfless leader. This place (training ground), it looks so different from the day I first came here. We used to get changed in a shed!

“In my experience, if boards want to invest then managers would say ‘I’ll take a few more players’ and they’d spend the money on players. He’s actually changed the whole infrastructure of the football club and made the whole place better.

“Everything runs smoother and obviously a great deal of praise needs to go to the owners as well, but he always put the club’s interest first. I don’t think people always see that.”

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