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LISTEN Glossop North End management team leave the club for Buxton
Monday 12th March 2018 @ 14:44 by Mark Phillip

Glossop North End joint-managers Paul Phillips and Steve Halford have left the club to form a new management team at Buxton FC.

The shocking announcement was made on Monday morning via Twitter – less than 48 hours after Glossop ended a four game losing run with a 3-1 victory over bottom club Goole.

The victory leaves Glossop in 11th spot and four points outside the playoffs before Tuesday evening’s fixtures.

Following the announcement, Phillips spoke to Chronicle Sport and said the opportunity to join Buxton was too good to turn down. “We spoke to them (Buxton) last night, and we knew the job opportunity was there” said Phillips.

“We got the job after speaking to them last night (Sunday) and for what they were offering and for what they were putting on the table, including the infrastructure and the way they want to go, it was too good an opportunity to turn down.”

Phillips and Halford will take charge of Buxton for the first time on Tuesday night with a home clash against Stourbridge.

The new job will provide Phillips and Halford with an opportunity to manage in the Evo-Stik Premier Division for a second time – a factor that had a major influence on their decision. Phillips added: “Obviously it’s a step up compared to the league that we’ve just been managing in.

“We’ve done reasonably well in this league previously, with a few playoff appearances with Ashton.

“We know that level, and no disrespect to Glossop, but it’s easier to attract players to this level and with the size of the club that Buxton is, and what their plans are going forward, it will be an easier sell for us.

“Hopefully we can get the players in that we need to move us forward, and do the job that we’ve been employed to do, which is to get the club out of this league.”

Phillips and Halford’s appointment follows the sacking of former boss Martin Mcintosh, who was relieved of his duties in February after six years at the helm.

The Bucks missed out on the playoffs by just one point last season but have since taken a turn for the worse.

They are currently 18th in the table and 17 points outside the playoffs, and while the prospect of a playoff feat looks rather slim, Phillips says he won’t give up the chase until it’s mathematically impossible. “I think the playoffs are out of sight at this moment in time, but never say never” said Phillips.

“I don’t think it’s mathematically impossible, and me and Steven always aim as high as possible.

“I think, looking at it now, the playoffs probably are out of sight, especially when you look at the games ahead. I think we’ve got three games a week to come.

“It’s a big ask, but stranger things have happened. We need to finish the season strongly, look at the lads who want to be part of what we’re doing as a club and a management team, and then go from there.

“We need to take on players that will help us to push on next season and get us to where we want to be.”

After taking charge of Glossop in May 2017, Phillips and Halford took charge of 31 league fixtures, winning 13, drawing five and losing 13.

The duo assembled a promising squad over summer that looked capable of claiming the title.

However, as the season progressed, it became increasingly apparent that Glossop would have to settle for a playoff spot at best – although in recent weeks, after four consecutive defeats, the chances of doing so have reduced significantly.

Of his time at Surrey Street, Phillips felt the squad was cursed with bad luck. “If you look at the players we lost throughout the season, they were the mainstay throughout the team, especially when we didn’t have a starting XI five weeks before the season began.

“I think to still be in touching distance of the playoffs, combined with a half decent FA Trophy run, is a fairly good achievement.”

Despite being ranked as outsiders, Phillips believes Glossop can still reach the playoffs this season – especially with a group of players that he believes possess the quality to guide the club to better places. “They’ve definitely got a massive chance of reaching the playoffs with the lads they’ve got” said Phillips.

“After a bad run we returned to winning ways on Saturday, and I’m hoping that they can get in the playoffs and really push on. There’ll be nobody more pleased than me and Steven if they can do that.”

As well as managing in a higher division, Phillips said one of the major reasons to join Buxton was the club’s vision for the future.

According Phillips, Buxton are hoping to launch a new academy and replace the Silverlands pitch with a 4G surface. Phillips spoke glowingly of the plans and said: “I’ve spoke to the chairman and he has great plans going forward.

“A new academy is going to be formed and they’re hoping to replace the pitch with a 4g surface.

“There’s a really good infrastructure there. It was refreshing to sit down and speak with them. We share the same ambition on and off the pitch.”

If the chance presents itself, will Phillips be looking towards the academy for players in the future? “They’ll be picked on merit” he said.

“We’ll be communicating with the academy, and there’s nothing better than bringing through local youngsters. It gives you a good fan base and a good start.

“However the players will have to prove that they’re better than the ones already there. If they prove that, then I’m quite happy to bring them through, as is Steven.”

Given the quick turnaround of events, Phillips says he didn’t have the chance to thank everyone at Glossop for their efforts and support throughout the season.

However, when speaking to Chronicle Sport, he wanted to place on record his thanks to those that made his time at Surrey Street enjoyable. “I thank them for their patience” he said.

“It’s not been plane sailing but we’ve tried our best and put everything into it. I feel like we’ve left them in a better position than when we took over, so I thank the board, the chairman, the fans and everybody behind the scenes, and I hope you go on to achieve what you all set out to.”

Picture: Steve Dyson