Matlock Town caretaker boss Dave Hoole was largely satisfied from what he saw in his first game at the helm, which ended in a goalless stalemate with Stourbridge on Wednesday night.
Following the mutually agreed departures of Glenn Kirkwood and Craig Hopkins over the weekend, Hoole accepted to take over until a replacement is found and is being assisted by injured top scorer Shaun Harrad and captain Adam Yates.
The Gladiators slipped into the bottom three after Saturday’s disappointing performance in the 1-0 defeat at Rushall and in any other season would be occupying one of the relegation positions.
But this time only one club goes down due to league reorganisation and that looks like being Sutton Coldfield Town who are 13 points adrift of Matlock and have played a game more.
“It’s been a mad 48 hours,” said Hoole. “Everything seemed to come at one go and I needed to get my head together. I chatted with Shaun Harrad but there’s not been the time to think too much about things.
“But I tried to put my ethos across to the lads, the lads listened and have done just about everything I’d asked. We could have done one or two things a little better but overall I’m happy with what I’ve seen.”
Stourbridge arrived on the back of two successive wins, an excellent 4-1 triumph at play off chasing Farsley Celtic on Saturday being followed by a last gasp 2-1 home win over bottom markers Sutton Coldfield Town on Monday night.
“Everyone’s done really well, the lads have worked tremendously hard and shown good character,” said Hoole. “We needed to prove a point, not only to ourselves but also and mainly to the club and the supporters.
“There were plenty of positives, there’s plenty to work with but we’re still some way from where we need to be.
“It’s good though to get a clean sheet against a strong side like Stourbridge but it could have been different but for Richard Walton’s great early save. Had that gone in then it could have been a backs to the wall job.”
Attention now turns to the Easter programme which starts with a home game against Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday and a derby up at Buxton on Monday afternoon.
Hoole is leaving Harrad in charge as he is with the academy at a tournament in Holland.
“I told the club I would knock that in the head if needed but they’re happy for me to go with my role in the development of young talent at the club. I’m sure everything will be in good hands with Shaun,” he said.
Matlock should have largely the same squad as on Wednesday.
Ted Cribley is expected to feature after retiring three minutes from time against Stourbridge with Jamie Jackson and Curtis Morrison likely to be added. Zak Brunt, 16, though is in Holland.
The transfer window slammed shut last Thursday with Matlock making two new signings. Seventeen years old 6’4” defender Marshall Willock was brought in on loan from Chesterfield while striker Amos Kabeya joined from Ossett Albion.
Meanwhile on the managerial front, Matlock are currently accepting applications from candidates who have experience of the National League system and will be looking to bring someone in before the end of the season in preparation for the new campaign in August.