Askey’s top boss af­ter flaw­less Jan­uary

Macclesfield Express - - MOTORS -

MACCLESFIELD Town’s flaw­less start to the year has seen John Askey named as the Va­narama Con­fer­ence manager-ofthe-month for Jan­uary.

The Silk­men won at Grimsby on New Year’s Day and although they had just two league out­ings since then, vic­to­ries at Kid­der­min­ster Har­ri­ers and at home to Lin­coln City mean it was a highly sat­is­fy­ing Jan­uary on the field at the Moss Rose.

Three wins, two Eng­land C call-ups and one award. Plenty to shout about right now, and the boss is more than happy to share the plau­dits.

A frozen pitch at Brain­tree meant they couldn’t ex­tend their win­ning run but the 3-2 win over Welling United last week­end meant Macc re­main third in the ta­ble, and 11 points ahead of Wok­ing in sixth.

And though the man­age­rial prize is just re­ward for the Macc boss, who con­tin­ues to defy the odds and bud­getary re­straints, Askey says it’s not recog­ni­tion for the ef­forts of just one man.

“It’s the manager-ofthe-month but it should be called the team-ofthe-month I think,” said the Jan­uary win­ner.

“It’s not down to just me but ev­ery­one at the club, the play­ers have been ter­rific.

“It’s nice and it shows we’re do­ing some­thing right at the foot­ball club.”

In truth it’s been a frus­trat­ing Jan­uary off the field for Askey, as the now familiar fi­nan­cial con­cerns have seen him miss out on at least one trans­fer tar­get.

As well as the de­par­tures of David Gon­za­lez and Arthur Gna­houa, Askey (be­low) was help­less to pre­vent loan striker Denny Johnstone be­ing snatched away by Birm­ing­ham City, who in­stantly farmed him back out to Chel­tenham.

The Robins are pay­ing the full amount of Johnstone’s wages. And although the Scot was de­vel­op­ing very nicely, that was an of­fer to his par­ent club that Macc sim­ply can’t match.

Luke Wa­ter­fall opted to join Wrex­ham on a longer and more lu­cra­tive deal. And although in re­cent weeks Macc have brought back Danny Rowe and Lee Bell and a hand­ful have signed con­tract ex­ten­sions it seems he may miss out on a re­turn for Thierry Audel, who’s train­ing with Carlisle.

Askey hasn’t com­pletely given up hope of re-sign­ing the de­fender but he’s hav­ing to con­sider look­ing else­where at loan op­tions.

While there is scope to strengthen the familiar stick­ing point – cash in the bank – still looms large.

It re­mains to be seen if any cen­tre-back cover for Alex Grant and Ge­orge Pilk­ing­ton will come in but with just a few months of the cam­paign re­main­ing Askey feels some loos­en­ing of the purse strings could make the cru­cial dif­fer­ence.

“There are about 11 weeks of the sea­son left so if we brought some­one in on a thou­sand pounds a week that would be £11,000,” said the manager.

“I’m not say­ing we could bring in any­one on those wages but we’ve not had a big squad all year, the gates are go­ing up at home games and so we should be able to do some­thing.

“If we do and it makes the dif­fer­ence in us reach­ing the play-offs that money and more will be re­cov­ered.”

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