Burr looks ahead to Salford City clash
Monday 13th February 2017 @ 16:20 by Mark Phillip
Football Sports

While the odds are firmly stacked against him, Stalybridge Celtic boss Steve Burr is relishing the opportunity to help his side avoid relegation this season.

The 57-year-old, who replaced Paul Phillips and Steve Halford last week, has returned to the club for a second spell having previously managed the club from 2007-2010.

Sacked by Southport at the end of January, Burr returns to Bower Fold with the backing of the fans, having guided the club to the Conference North play-off final in 2008.

However, current circumstances couldn’t be any more different, as Burr arguably faces one of the biggest challenges in his 17 year managerial career.

Burr spoke to general manager Michael Beech last weekend and expressed his delight upon re-joining the club. He said: “It’s happened really quickly but I’m just delighted to be back in work.

“Obviously it’s a club I’ve been to before and had many happy memories here, but like I said to the players today at training, what I’ve done in the past counts for nothing, it’s what we do now, moving forward.

“I’m looking forward to it, I really am.”

Due to no league fixture on Saturday, Burr took charge of his first training session instead.

And the former Macclesfield Town striker said he was impressed with the response of his players. “The training was nice, sharp and bubbly” said Burr.

“Like I’ve stressed today, whatever club you’re at it’s about winning matches at the end of the day, but we know it’s going to be a really tough ask for us to stay up but we’ll try and do everything we can to achieve that.

“The odds are heavily stacked against us but I’ve been around long enough in football to know that things can be achieved.”

At the time of speaking on Saturday, Burr was preparing his squad for a double-header against Salford City – the first of which arrives on Tuesday evening in the Manchester Premier Cup semi-final.

Hoping to avoid a Valentine’s Day massacre against the Ammies, Burr is looking to bring in a replacement keeper for the cup-tied Grant Shenton. He said: “The squad isn’t massive but it’s an opportunity for me to have a closer look on Tuesday.

“It’s good and gives me the chance to have a look at maybe one or two new faces, but all in all its good timing that we have got a game.

“We’ll look at bringing someone in because that was a dilemma, with Paul Phillips being the backup keeper.”

Upon taking the job last week, Burr was quick to appoint Andy Fearn and Neil Tolson as his backroom staff.

In what appears to be a temporary appointment until the end of the season, Burr said: “We’ve agreed to see how things pan out from now until the end of the season.

“We’ll look to see where we can strengthen things, and we may have to move one or two on to release a bit of money.

“It’s not like the team have been hammered every week, they’re just not winning.

“Maybe there’s some fine tuning to be done to turn those close defeats into wins.

“Draws are no good to us at this stage – we need wins.”

Questioned on whether he is confident of claiming a result at Moor Lane this weekend, Burr said: “Yeah, sure we are. They’re a very strong outfit and obviously we know how difficult it’s going to be there but you never know.

“We’ll be going there to try and win.

“It gives me a good week to prepare with the players and hopefully we’ll get through everything fine on Tuesday and we don’t pick up any injuries.

“We’ll be looking forward to going to Salford; it’s a place I’ve never been to before so I’m looking forward to it.”