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New manager Andy Mutch vows to take Northwich Victoria back to where the club belongs
ANDY Mutch has begun the search for players to replace those that have left Northwich following the club’s forced relegation.
The new Vics boss, hired a fortnight ago following the expected departure of Martin Foyle, insists he is not daunted by the prospect of having to build a team from next to nothing this summer.
“From adversity comes strength,” he said yesterday, Tuesday.
“When [owner] Jim [Rushe] offered me the job, it was easy to accept because for me Northwich Victoria is one of the biggest clubs in non-league football.
“I’ve taken on a huge challenge, but I’m not scared.”
Vics, kicked out of the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League’s top tier for breaking finance rules after finishing as runners-up to champions Chester on the pitch, still do not know what division they will play in next term.
“I want to work hard to get the club back up to where it should be."Northwich manager Andy Mutch
Relegated four levels in three years, only once because the team has not been up to scratch, Mutch told the Guardian he is under no illusion as to the size of his task.
He said: “I want to work hard to get the club back up to where it should be.
“I realise there is a lot of work to be done in terms of bringing people back together; what’s important is to have a squad which sparks the interest of supporters again.
“It’s important to strike a rapport with the fans, because it’s supporters that make a club.
“We need to be on the same boat and rowing in the right direction together; I know that’s a big aspiration, and I don’t particularly want to be consumed by off-field politics, but that’s how we can be successful.”
Midfielder Sean Kinsella last night became the eighth player to leave the club since the end of last term when he returned to former employers Stafford.
None have arrived, in part because prospective targets might be turned off if Northwich are placed – as is expected – in Evo-Stik NPL Division One South.
“I have to be realistic,” added Mutch.
“I’ve spoken to players from last season’s squad and they have different ideas as to what they want to do.
“They did well, so will inevitably attract interest from other clubs. I understand that.
“But the size of this club is such that I think we can try to attract as much quality as possible to replace those players that choose to leave.
“There are number of factors at play to explain why certain individuals are waiting to make a decision, not least what division we will be playing in and where our home will be.
“With so many likely to leave, it’s more critical for us to get a group sorted.
“That means I’ll have to call upon my powers of persuasion to make them realise Northwich is a good option.”
Mutch, now 48, returns to management for the first time since leaving Burscough three years ago.
The former Wolves front man, who will count Alan Wright as his right hand man, insists an absence from the dugout has been for his own good.
“I’ve never left the game behind, but I decided it was best for me to take a break after things didn’t work out at Burscough,” he added.
“I needed to take a step back, but now I feel enthused again.
“To be truthful, it’s a positive to have the time to work hard on hitting my targets in terms of who I want to bring in.
“I’m not likely to have somebody else’s squad forced upon me, so I can look forward with almost a clean slate.”