STALYBRIDGE Celtic manager Steve Burr writes exclusively for the Correspondent on the team’s green shoots of recovery after a challenging start to their campaign in which they lost 10 of their first 13 games in league and cup.
It is encouraging to see things falling into place after what can only be described as an horrendous start to the season.
I think there were reasons for that – one or two players were signed from lower division clubs and struggled to make the step up while we also had injuries to the likes of keeper Joe Slinn and Matty Wolfenden. And with only having a small squad, these things didn’t help.
We have lost only one of our last seven league games and, while winning is the main thing, I also want to do so by playing well. I was pleased with our performances, even when we weren’t getting the results we wanted.
I have found that when a club has been in freefall – Celtic hasn’t had the greatest time for the last four or five years for whatever reasons – it is hard to turn things round. Just look at Hyde, Altrincham, Stafford Rangers and Hednesford Town.
Whowever goes into difficult jobs like those needs time to turns things round. And I am impatient and was annoyed and questioned myself after our bad start.
I had gone into clubs before in difficult situations, but this was probably one of the most challenging.
Hopefully we have halted the slide and are now moving in the right direction. We have a group of good, young players and there is a great atmosphere at the club.
I also look back to my third season at Kidderminster when we didn’t win in the first 10 games and then hardly lost again and narrowly missed out on the league title. We are nine points off the play off so anything is achievable.
When you have been in management as long as I have, I have learned a lot and look at things with an older and clear head and don’t lose my temper like I used to do.
It has also been an eye opener working again with part time players as Chester, Southport and Kidderminster were all full time.
When these lads arrive for training, you have to take into account they have worked all day so we make sure training sessions are nice and bright.
I still think we need a couple more signings to kick on and I am still looking for players to make us better.
We have lost Aiden Chippendale who has moved to Ossett Town because they offered him more money and the offer of a contract. That releases a bit of money.