‘Two brains are better than one,’ says one half of Buxton’s new managerial team

Paul Phillips, one half of the new Buxton management team, in playing action for Ashton United
Paul Phillips, one half of the new Buxton management team, in playing action for Ashton United

One half of Buxton FC’s new managerial team Paul Phillips says two heads are better than one.

Alongside Steve Halford, Phillips was named as joint first team boss on Monday morning, the duo departing near neighbours Glossop North End to make the move to the Silverlands.

Phillips and Halford left Glossop 11th in the Evo-Stik Division One North to take over the Bucks, who sit 18th in the Evo-Stik Northern Premier.

They’ve previously managed Ashton United and Stalybridge Celtic together and once upon a time, Phillips played in goal for the Bucks.

The man who made over 700 appearances between the sticks for a number of non-league clubs said: “It’s a great club, I’ve obviously played for the club many years ago, too many years ago to remember.

“We’ve played there a few times with our prevous club Ashton.

“It’s got a lot of tradition about it, they’re planning for the future.

“The way everything is being set up off the pitch it was a really good proposition for us to go for, we’re just thankful we got the nod.”

Phillips likes what he sees in the current Buxton squad and hopes, in time, to help take the club to the promised land – the National League North.

“At the moment in time we think we’ve got a very good squad there, one that has probably underachieved this season,” he said.

“We’ve obviously not got out of this league, but with a smaller club and smaller finances we’ve had quite a good run at the play-offs a couple of times, just come up short against bigger teams.

“Hopefully we can get out of this league with Buxton.

“We just want to finish off as strongly as possible this season, give the lads a clean slate, anything in the past is gone, we’re here to assess them and see where they want to be, see if they suit us and want to be at this club for where it wants to go.

“The aim is to win every game.

“Looking at the squad there’s some really, really good players in there and I’m looking forward to working with them, as is Steve.”

If Buxton’s plans to introduce a 4G pitch come to fruition, Phillips says they’ll need to introduce a playing style for home games which can be adapted away from home.

“It’s a tricky one that, depending on whether or not this 4G pitch does actually go down,” said the 39-year-old.

“You’ll have to have a style to manage that and a style for going to these other grounds where, no disrespect, there won’t be the greatest footballing pitches.

“You have to have a bit of backbone, a bit of steel to make sure you’re not a pushover physically and mentally.

“It all hinges on what we need to do off the pitch.

“It’s still in the planning but if that does go ahead, it changes our outlook on what we’ll do.”

As for managerial style and the way they work in tandem, Phillips says they’re of one mind the vast majority of the time.

“We have the same philosophy or it wouldn’t have got off the ground,” he said.

“We think the same, we’re both winners, we both want to play fast, attacking football.

“But we know you can only play that if you get the right spine so you don’t concede at the other end.

“We very rarely have a fall out.

“We pick the team together and speak to each other more times than we speak to our wives.

“We’re not going to get everything right but to my mind, two brains are better than one.”

Phillips himself is remembered by many non-league supporters as somewhat of a character, never shy of a word or two for opposition fans behind the goal, referees and the strikers he played against.

On the touchline he says he’s had to learn to curb his enthusiasm.

”I’ve had to learn my lesson,” he said.

“I’ve made mistakes in the past of overstepping the line but who doesn’t?

“You’ve got to conduct yourself right and get the right balance of being a winner and making yourself look stupid.

“Don’t get me wrong, what goes on behind closed doors stays behind closed doors, but on the touchline we’re there to represent Buxton and we have to do that in the right manner.

“The players will be told what to do and how we want them to do it in no uncertain way.

“Sometimes I overstep the mark on the pitch but as you get a bit older and longer in the tooth you learn sometimes it’s not the right thing, to blow your top.”

The new mangerial duo are due to be in charge for their first game tomorrow (Tuesday) at home to Stourbridge, ahead of a trip to Workington on Saturday.