Swan faces battle to keep hold of Reds boss McDonald - The Redditch Standard

Swan faces battle to keep hold of Reds boss McDonald

Redditch Editorial 28th Apr, 2015 Updated: 18th Oct, 2016   0

REDDITCH United manager Liam McDonald said he had no regrets at the end of what has been a season to savour after his side were denied a Southern League Premier Division play-off place in agonising fashion.

United did what they could in winning 3-1 at Arlesey Town on Saturday and received a favour from Biggleswade Town who defeated visitors Weymouth 4-2, allowing the Reds to leapfrog the Terras in the table.

However, St Neots Town gained the point they needed to clinch fifth place and the final play-off place as they drew 1-1 at Frome Town, leaving McDonald’s men a place and a point outside the play-off positions in sixth.

Now though, the battle is on to retain the services of McDonald, whose efforts in masterminding the Reds’ resurgence have not gone unnoticed and chairman Chris Swan revealed there have already been enquiries about McDonald from other clubs.

Swan said: “I am not daft. I expected to have interest in Liam and this is why it’s important that the club as a whole pulls in the same direction to give him the most help we can.

“As I have said before we have to be self-sustainable so the more support we can get from our supporters the better.

“We have some fantastic supporters and I and everyone connected with the club appreciate the backing they give the team home and away, but we must seek to improve in respect of getting more people through the turnstiles and backing the club however they can.”

McDonald, who is meeting Swan this week to discuss among other things a potential budget for next season, says he would like to be in charge at the Valley Stadium next season, but accepts that much can happen over the summer and would be keen to know what tools he will be working with as he attempts keep the Reds progressing on the pitch.

“There’s been so much progress here over 18 months, having gone from the fringes of the relegation picture to the top ten last season and now taken the much more difficult step of bridging the gap to the top six,” said McDonald.

“Hopefully things will move in a positive direction and we can keep progressing on the pitch.”

Redditch, who recovered from conceding an early goal to see off Arlesey thanks to a brace from star midfielder Ashley Sammons – the second goal a penalty – and a Simeon Maye strike, can take numerous positives from their campaign according to McDonald.

“It’s been a very good season, in which we have learned a lot and experienced some really big twists and turns,” added the manager.

“We lost the best player in the league in Jermaine Hylton and also Jamie Spencer – both to full-time football – and that’s another 20 goals we lost from that point.

“Jamie Molyneux would have been the man to step in to replace them but we lost him to injury for six months and we also lost a defensive star in Jim Mutton for over three months to injury.

“To look back at that and see how close the boys got to the play-offs, I have to say it’s a fantastic effort.

“We had the third best goal difference in the league and third least goals conceded, including 19 clean sheets in the league, so we’ve got to take a lot of encouragement from those statistics.

“I was a bit overwhelmed by it all at full time on Saturday, what with coming so close, but it’s already time to look forward.

“There’s no regrets on my part. I think the fans have enjoyed the season and that means a lot.

“Myself, Dave Bridgwater and Nick Green would like to thank the fans for all their support and vocal backing. It’s been a fantastic club to work at this season and we’ve loved every minute of it.”

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