Welcome back Hughesy!
Who would have believed it, just three wins from thirty two games and the Bookies refusing to take nay more bets on our chances of relegation
Enter John Hughes, and with two wins from two games, we’ve now given ourselves a fighting chance of avoiding a swift return to the North West Counties League Second Division.
After six successive defeats between January and March, we finally won a game which was followed by a fine draw and suddenly we had visions of a miraculous escape. Sadly for us, the next two games saw us concede eleven goals and score just one, and not surprisingly come away pointless.
Manager Dave Sharples had by that time said “enough is enough” after having to do the job on his own for the past few months.
Manager-less, ground-less and penniless, it looked all up for the Robins but a fighting performance against Ramsbottom and the appointment of John Hughes to the hot-seat, has seen a new wave of optimism sweep through the club. Two wins out of two has been slightly tempered with the two from two achieved by Formby by Hughesy is confident that we can still avoid the drop.
Last season saw him lead the Robins to promotion and a Cup Final before the lure of managing his old club Chorley at a higher level, not surprisingly was an opportunity which he couldn’t turn down.
Sadly for Hughes, expectations were high and the team struggled from the start and have been involved in a relegation battle all season. He left the club a few weeks ago.
EDITOR: Are you pleased to be back in football management and why on earth would you want to return to a club in such a crisis? Surely it would have been far less stressful playing footy in the garden with your son and watching the odd game from the terraces?
HUGHES: Yes, I’m pleased to be back in football management although I anticipated spending a little more time having a rest from the game. I spoke to the Chairman about the situation and we can both see light at the end of the tunnel. Hopefully we can recreate the success that I enjoyed here last season.
EDITOR: Reading and listening to the Media, we’ve had differing reports on why you left Chorley, were you pushed or did you walk?
HUGHES: After discussing the situation at Victory Park, the Chairman and I decided mutually that I would leave the club.
EDITOR: Dave Sharples had a very difficult job after Lee Rogerson felt that he couldn’t assist him anymore. Having to run team affairs single-handedly almost certainly had a bearing on Dave’s decision to quit. The task of running a team at this level is surely too much for one man, have you, or will you be appointing an assistant manager?
HUGHES: You’re right, it is a two man job but as yet, I’ve not got an assistant.
EDITOR: With the club in such dire straights, no money, no ground etc. will you be able to attract players here?
HUGHES: As I said before, it’s not all gloom and doom, and the recent announcement that we’ll be ground sharing with Accrington Stanley next season is a huge boost. The fact that we’ll be playing at such a fine stadium will in itself be a great attraction to many players.
EDITOR: As recent weeks have shown, we’ve been struggling to get a ‘proper’ squad available for games with the Salford and Nantwich fixtures going ahead with Harwood unable to name more than eleven players. What are you going to do to avoid the same scenario again and why did we have no ‘subs.’ On Easter Monday?
HUGHES: Over the past few days we’ve signed several new players so I don’t anticipate having to struggle without substitutes again. My preparations for the Nantwich game weren’t helped by a series of withdrawals due to work commitments and sickness.
EDITOR: Although you’ve only been in charge for a couple of games, you’ve seen several games recently, what has impressed you most about the team?
HUGHES: The defence has played very well in the few games which I’ve seen recently.
EDITOR: For many months now, great Harwood Town have looked doomed, can we realistically hold any holes of staying up? If so, how many points do you think that we’d need to achieve the ‘impossible’?
HUGHES: I really believe that we can stay up. I haven’t set a points target but I feel that four wins from our last eight games would see us safe.
EDITOR: Football management takes up an incredible amount of time and effort. Since you left Chorley, your family must have bee happier having you around the home and not on the phone all night long. What was your wife’s reaction when you informed her of your decision to go back into the game?
HUGHES: She’s always known that I’m a football man, and always will be. She understands and doesn’t have a problem with the amount of time I spend doing the job.
EDITOR: Thanks a lot John, congratulations on the appointment, the first win in charge, and good luck for the rest of the season.