Askey’s top boss after flawless January
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.”