Macclesfield Town wave goodbye to the Football League

Macclesfield Town have been relegated from League 2 and manager Brian Horton has left the club so should there be optimism that the club will return to the Football League next season.

Assistant manager Glyn Chamberlain will take charge of the final fixture against Southend United in a disastrous season for the club which has left them rooted to the foot of the table and being unable to secure a place in the Football League for next season.

If the club are serious about bouncing back to the Football League at the first attempt then they need to appoint a manager and quickly so he can get some confidence back in the players and he can make sure that all the players he wants to stay do which is going to be vital. There will be quite a few players out of contract but there is still some quality in the side which is a lot better than the Blue Square Premier. Jose Veiga is a really good goalkeeper at this level and does have international experience although it is only for Cape Verde. His contract is out in the summer so hopefully they can keep hold of him as he is very consistent and although he may not have had the greatest of seasons, he has still played 41 times this year and they will need his experience in the squad next year. Tony Diagne is one of these who will benefit from his experience as he is only 21 but does look to be quite promising but inevitably he will make mistakes because of his age and he will need players like Veiga around him to support him, as well as the fans who shouldn’t get on his back too much. He has played 47 times this season scoring four goals which isn’t a bad return for a defender but he will be disappointed with the amount of goals they have conceded.

Ross Draper is another that has probably underperformed this season and he may not have been able to influence the play as much as he would have liked. But he is still a very promising player and a year in the Blue Square could toughen him up if he wants to stay and the new manager wants him too. This season he has played 31 games and scored four goals which just shows where the problem lies although he is not meant to get a lot of goals he will be disappointed he hasn’t contributed slightly more.

When you can’t defend you need to be able to score goals and unfortunately for the Moss Rose faithful this hasn’t happened that often with their top score only grabbing seven goals in the league. George Donnelly is the man with these goals and he has got them in 32 league games. Hopefully next season will be better for him as he has played in the lower leagues before and will know what it’s like. He signed for Macclesfield after an initial loan spell for an undisclosed five figure sum and he will be frustrated he hasn’t quite repaid the faith but if he scores the goals to get them back in the Football League all of the fans will be singing his name.

It is always sad to see clubs going out of the Football League and this time it was Macclesfield Town’s turn and they seem like a good set of fans and very friendly so I personally hope to see them return at the first time of asking. But it is not always simple just ask Luton Town, Darlington and Stockport County fans.

Brian Horton named the new manager of Macclesfield Town

Brian Horton has returned for a second spell in charge of Macclesfield Town to try and help them avoid relegation from League 2.

Horton will be manager until the end of the season

Macclesfield are currently 21st in League 2 and are only out of the relegation places on goal difference which has forced the board to sack former manager Gary Simpson. It must have been tough for them to sack him as he became the manager when times were difficult at the club and the whole area was still devastated by the death of Keith Alexander. This is probably why he was asked to stand down rather than sacked like any other manager would have done. However, it probably was his time to go as the team had gone 16 games without a victory and looked like they were going to get relegated.

So, the first thing Horton has to do is, get the players confidence levels up and make sure they believe they can turn it around. It will be difficult as 16 games is a long time and when you are struggling the luck also seems to go against you. Horton, has enough experience to know what to do in these types of situation as he has managed in over 1000 games which is a remarkable record as not many others have reached this amount of games. He got his first job at Hull City in 1984 and has done other roles other than manager since then and this can only stand him in good stead because he will have learned a few things of different people and took their ideas on board.

The last time he was a manager was in 2006 and it was actually at Macclesfield so he will know a lot about the club, what the fans expect and where the club should be. In his previous spell in charge he achieved a 35.88% win rate which is quite good especially when he had to rejuvenate the team when he first took over as they were struggling in the league much like this season and they eventually comfortably stayed up, seven points above the drop zone. In his first full season, The Silkmen challenged for promotion somewhat surprisingly and ended up in the playoff positions but were unfortunately defeated by Lincoln City in the semi finals. Living up to these high expectations was always going to be difficult seen as though the club faced financial problems and therefore did not challenge at the right end of the table and finished 17th.

Horton was sacked in the next season after the team went 12 games without winning and stranded to the bottom of the table. He will be hoping for more success this time around and if he can replicate what he did in his first season in charge it will be fantastic for the club and then hopefully they can push on from there. The new manager has some good players at his disposal but maybe they haven’t quite lived up to their potential, such players as Matt Hamshaw who looked very promising as a youngster at Sheffield Wednesday and Arnaud Mendy who was quite highly rated at Derby County. George Donnelly is another player that at 23 has some potential and could score a lot of goals in this division. So Macclesfield are not quite done yet and if Horton can work the magic and build some confidence then they should comfortably stay up.