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Celtic boss Haworth wants sustainable success
Tuesday 22nd May 2018 @ 11:00 by Mark Phillip
Football News Sports

Stalybridge Celtic manager Simon Haworth has reiterated the importance of delivering sustainable success to the club.

Just a week after being appointed, the former Cardiff City and Wigan Athletic striker conducted a meet the manager event at Bower Fold, alongside chairman Rob Gorksi, which gave fans the opportunity to question the pair on a number of topics.

Haworth will be joined in the dugout by former Derby County defender Gareth Roberts – the pair re-joining for a second spell after taking charge of Evo-Stik North side, Clitheroe, in April 2016.

Having guided Clitheroe to two semi-final appearances, the duo will be hoping to deliver some of the same success to Celtic next season, though Haworth reiterated the importance of injecting some realism into the club after turbulent few years. He said: “My first task is to make you smile again and make you believe in what we’re trying to do.

“I’ve mentioned it to the chairman, but we need all of you involved – the players, the board, the management and staff – but most of all the supporters. You talk with your feet, so my job is to put a product out there that will put bums back on seats. If we can all start on the right footing and buy into what we’re trying to do, we have half a chance of doing something good.

“I think it’s about time the club started taking some steps going forward; I think it’s been going backwards long enough, not through intent, desire or finance, but different things haven’t quite worked out, so now we need to move forward and that’s what I’ve been brought in to do.”

Haworth has a busy summer ahead in terms of recruiting a squad for next season.

The 41-year-old is an advocate of blooding youth players and said he’s more than willing to work with head of academy, David Sullivan.

Haworth did, however, reiterate the importance of finding the right balance between youth and experience, as well as recruiting loan players to supplement the squad. Commenting on the situation regarding last season’s squad, Haworth said: “The budget has been trimmed since last season, so they’ve all been made aware of where we’re at in terms of that.

“There are players who I would like to keep who I think could be of use to me and the club. In fairness to the lads they’ve all been positive and have been totally on board with what we’re trying to do.

“Some of them feel they owe the club some unfinished business and will possibly take reduced wages to come and be a part of it. My job is to decide which ones are worth fighting for and which ones need replacing.”

In the past week, the club has confirmed the departures of winger Connor Hughes and defender Danny Morton to Tameside neighbours Curzon Ashton.

The former joined Celtic in January and reinvigorated the squad after contributing 10 goals in 31 appearances. Haworth now faces the difficult task of finding a suitable replacement for the 25-year-old – though he won’t be breaking the bank to do so. “When you get a whole club pulling in the right direction you can do anything” said Haworth.

“We’ve not said we can’t be up there (challenging at the top) or can’t win a cup, but there is a realism and that includes not spending silly money.

“We don’t want to spend silly money; we want to entertain and be competitive and make everyone believe in what we’re doing.

“We need to get the product and structure in place that will stabilise the club for years to come, not just for one season.”

Gorski echoed Haworth’s sentiments and emphasised the importance of implementing a form of continuity at the club. “I’ve always said that continuity is the way for success” he said.

“It’s absolutely my preference to have had Steve Burr from the first time round, because by definition it’s therefore been successful. If Simon is here in five years time there will be nobody happier than me.

“It’s quite possible that, because Simon is on his way up and he’s had a great football career, he might out grow us, but if he can turn this club around, which is what we all want as fans, then he would be leaving with our blessing.

“Continuity is something I want, but let’s be blunt, we gave Steve Burr a very large budget last year and it didn’t work. By Christmas we had not won one point away from home. We had a top six budget and a manager that I felt would take us back up. In fairness Steve has been big enough to come out and say it was a massive disappointment and that he’d let everyone down.”

Following a string of failed appointments and the bitter disappointment of relegation, Gorksi will be praying that Haworth is the man to bring the good times back to Bower Fold.

In other news, the club has announced a string of pre-season fixtures. Celtic will host Rochdale on Friday, July 6, before entertaining Curzon Ashton on Tuesday, July 24. Haworth’s side have a trip to Mossley on Saturday, July 28, before a trip to Prescot Cables on Saturday, August 11.