‘There is something there for someone to build on’ - boss Paul Phillips departs Buxton FC

Paul Phillips
Paul Phillips

Paul Phillips believes there are foundations for his successor to build on at Buxton FC.

Phillips resigned from his managerial post in the wake of the Bucks’ 2-0 defeat at Stalybridge Celtic on Saturday after 20 months in charge at the Tarmac Silverlands Stadium.

During that time he took Buxton to the brink of the play-offs in 2017/18 then went one better in his first and only full season in charge with a fifth-place finish in the NPL Premier last time around.

But results this season have seen the side battling it out towards the nether regions of the table and with nearly two-thirds of the campaign still to go Phillips has decided to step down in the interests of the club.

Speaking to the Buxton Advertiser, Phillips said: “We haven’t been good enough.”We’ve not had the luck this season, we’ve had quite a few injuries and it’s just not worked out.

“I can’t paper over the cracks.

“I spoke to the chairman on Sunday morning and, to show you what kind of chairman he is, he wanted me to stick by it.

“But I thought for the good of the club, for the good of the work that I’ve done in the past, it was the right decision.

“We have done something there.

“We have got it on a good footing, not just me but everyone else there, and because of that, he wanted me to have another go at it.

“I felt it needed a new voice, new ideas, a new presence in the dressing room and it was the right thing to do.

“I was adamant I wanted to go.

“I’m not a quitter. I’ve done it for the good of the club.

“I’ve done it because there are certain individuals in that dressing room haven’t been good enough.

“I’m not saying they’ve done it on purpose but I’ve put them in there.

“In some scenarios, some of the players thought they were better than Buxton Football Club.

“That was down to me because I’ve put them in there.

“At the end of the day it’s a results business and they haven’t been good enough.

“It’s amicable.

“I hope they go on and achieve what they want to achieve because everyone around the place deserves the success that hopefully the club is building.”

And added: “It’s a great football club, a great chairman with a lot of great people behind the scenes.

“I’ve got nothing but admiration for everyone and I think it’ll go on to be bigger and better in the future.”

Phillips, who joined Buxton as joint-manager alongside Steve Halford from Glossop North End in March 2018, will take a short break to spend time with his family.

But the former goalkeeper, with more than 700 appearances to his name between the sticks for a number of non-League clubs, will look for a route back into football.

“Football is in my blood,” said Phillips, who has also managed Ashton United and Stalybridge Celtic.

“I’m quite upset I’ve let my backroom staff down and others who I’ve brought in but the number of lessons I’ve learned from the chairman [Dave Hopkins] to take forward will make me a better manager, the lessons I’ve learned through mistakes I’ve made at Buxton Football Club will make me a better manager.

“The last two seasons have been the highest the football club has finished in the past 12 or 13 years.

“Even though I feel like I’ve failed now, we took over when the club was 18th in the table, and if we had had another two weeks we would have reached the play-offs in the first year and then last year we did get to the play-offs.

“There is something there for someone to build on.”