BUXTON FC’s new manager Martin McIntosh is intending to return a winning mentality to the club and secure its future in the Evo-Stik Premier Division.
Ex-Worksop Town boss McIntosh has been chosen as the man to turn around the fortunes of the struggling Bucks, who are currently five points adrift of safety in the Premier Division with 14 league games remaining - and who haven’t won at home in the league for over four months.
The Scotsman was appointed on Saturday and succeeds Scott Maxfield, who had been placed in charge of Buxton in mid-November following the departure of John Reed but struggled to pull the club out of a poor run which has seen them win only one of their last 17 league games.
And speaking to the Advertiser prior to meeting his new playing squad for the first time on Wednesday, McIntosh was under no illusion as to the arduous task ahead.
“It’s a big challenge, but one I’m going to relish, and that I’ll put on to the players also,” he said.
“We want to try and get as many points on the board as possible. Clearly the position at the moment is difficult and confidence is low due to results, and that’s up to myself to change and get the mind-set and the winning mentality back.
“I think every one of the remaining games is a potential to gather points, and that’s the way I’ll be looking at it. There’s no single game that’s going to be easier than any other and it’s going to be a tough task from now until the end of the season.”
Asked what type of football fans could expect, McIntosh said: “Hopefully winning football, that’s the most important thing. You can never tell how you’re going to play, I don’t know the players inside out at the moment, but I’m sure the fans will take any kind of winning football, if it’s not even pretty.”
And McIntosh doesn’t have long to prepare for his opening game in charge of Buxton, with the first of a double header against fellow strugglers Mickleover Sports taking place on Saturday, weather permitting. This crucial league visit to The Raygar Stadium (kick-off 3pm) is followed four days later by Sports’ trip to the Silverlands for the Derbyshire Senior Cup semi-final on Wednesday February 15 (kick-off 7.45pm).
McIntosh, 40, began his playing career with Tottenham Hotspur, before spells at Clydebank, Hamilton Academical and Stockport County. He made more than 100 appearances for Rotherham United, becoming club captain, before going on to play for Huddersfield Town, Grimsby, Mansfield Town, Alfreton Town and Guiseley.
A holder of UEFA coaching qualifications, McIntosh was appointed manager of Evo-Stik Premier Division side Worksop in October 2010 and guided the Tigers to a ninth-place finish, but a poor start to the 2011 season, which saw a run of only one win in ten and exit from the FA Cup, sealed the Scotsman’s fate. He was later linked with the managerial job at Stocksbridge Park Steels.
“Any experience is good,” McIntosh explained. “I played football as a professional for 20 years so that will stand me in good stead. I’ve worked under a lot of great managers and obviously I’ve managed myself and I’ve coached myself, so hopefully that experience will help us go forward.”
What going forward means for the current batch of players at the Silverlands is yet unclear, and McIntosh remained tight-lipped over the possibility of bringing in some new faces.
But Buxton FC Chairman Tony Tomlinson commented: “If he can bring players in to strengthen us, then the board will back him to do that.”
McIntosh is only Buxton’s third post-war Scottish manager, and follows in the footsteps of the eminent Frank O’Donnell, a former Scotland international who led the club to the third round of the FA Cup 60 years ago, when they lost to Doncaster Rovers.
Tomlinson, who would not comment on the terms of McIntosh’s appointment, said: “We had a lot of applicants, but we were looking for someone who knew the division and had seen our players relatively recently and they could therefore hit the ground running. Martin fits that profile.
“With only one-third of the season’s fixtures remaining, a new manager wouldn’t have time to undertake a learning process of both the division and the players.
“We are hopeful that Martin can turn things around and get us out of the danger area.”
One player who is remaining at the club is Scott Maxfield, who has been retained as part of McIntosh’s staff.
McIntosh added: “I think he (Maxfield) has given a lot to the club.
“He’s going to be an integral part of the setup, however I must stress that this was clearly my decision.”