Following his appointment as the new manager of Hyde FC over the weekend, former Tigers defender and caretaker boss Scott McNiven has spoken to Luke Edwards about his return to Ewen Fields.
Scott can already claim that he’s made a huge contribution to Hyde’s recent history. With the Tigers languishing in the Blue Square Bet North relegation zone with 5 games of the 2010 – 2011 season remaining, he was installed as joint-caretaker manager alongside Steve Halford and oversaw a 5-match unbeaten run which saw the club escape the drop to the Evo-Stik League.
But despite being overlooked for the permanent job in favour of Gary Lowe, Scott isn’t bitter and is looking forward to the challenge of managing the Tigers in the Conference National:
When I got the phonecall I couldn’t believe it at first – I thought it was a wind-up! But once I realised it was true I jumped at the chance.
It feels like unfinished business as I enjoyed it immensely first time round and was disappointed not to get the job last time.
It’s definitely a baptism of fire as it’ll be much harder than the league we’ve just come from. Obviously we’ll be in a full-time league but I believe we can stay up. Everyone says it’s difficult, but you look at Southport who just missed out on the play-offs, and they aren’t full-time.
The question we will pose to the lads is that “you’ve won the Conference North. Now can you raise the bar again and stay in the league?”
Scott also made it clear that he doesn’t want to have to make too many changes to last season’s Blue Square Bet North-winning side:
We’ll be looking to keep the squad. I’d be foolish to break it up.
I only saw the team a couple of times last season but I’ve heard such good things about them, so I don’t want to change the winning philosophy. I like us to get down and play anyway so it should be good.
Joining Scott in the dugout will be ex-Everton, Sunderland, Aston Villa and Bolton midfielder Gavin McCann who will take up the role of Hyde FC first-team coach, and “Nivs” thinks he’ll be a top asset to the club:
Gavin McCann is someone I have known from a very early age. He’s a top coach now and will be in the future.
When I spoke to him he jumped at the chance and I didn’t really have to sell it to him.
Despite having played at the top level for most of his career, he’s watched a lot of non-league, so believe it or not he knows the scene quite well and has a lot of friends playing or managing at this level.
The board have always made it very clear that the club will never pay out what they can’t afford, and the new gaffer doesn’t have a problem with the money he’s been given to work with:
Unless we draw Man United in the cup, the budget is the budget we have to use to the best of our advantage.
For me, money isn’t everything, and that’s what I’ll be looking for from the players that I do bring in. As a footballer I wanted to play and not sit on the bench, so I’ll want them to be hungry.
But does Scott still have that hunger to pull his boots on and add to his 78 appearances for Hyde?
Neither myself or Gavin will be playing – unless it’s an emergency or if the fans shout for us!
Meanwhile, the first friendly game of the Tigers’ pre-season schedule has been confirmed as away at Curzon Ashton on Saturday 14th July 2012 at 3pm.