Winsford back Byrne as manager

4:41pm Wednesday 1st January 2014

By Andrew Simpson

WINSFORD United have rewarded Rob Byrne for his promising turn as temporary manager by offering him the manager’s job permanently.

He has guided Blues to three successive wins in the North West Counties League’s top tier since Eddy Haslam’s departure last month, a run of results that has lifted them clear of the relegation zone.

Chairman Mark Loveless, who had intended to wait before making a decision on who should pick the team for the season’s remainder, has been persuaded to change his mind.

He said: “The team’s improvement has been most encouraging.

“We always knew we had the players who could achieve what we wanted, but they often lacked confidence which resulted in unexpected setbacks.”

A defeat of Cheshire neighbours Congleton Town on Boxing Day followed a 2-1 success at St Helens Town before Christmas.

High-flying Norton United and table-toppers Runcorn Linnets now visit Barton Stadium on successive Saturdays.

“The past three results have not only lifted us from the relegation zone, but also laid a marker for the rest of the season,” said Byrne, who will be assisted by Kevin Bircumshaw.

“My job is to maintain those standards now the board has put its trust in me.”

Blues say they received more than 20 applications to replace Haslam, who left after a run of six defeats from seven league matches.

Club secretary Bob Astles said: “It’s a great opportunity for Rob and Kevin to show what they can do.

“More than anything we wanted continuity, so we’re confident this is the right decision.”

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