WITH HYDE already relegated from Vanarama North, the big question at Ewen Fields is whether Gary Lowe will be retained as manager.
Lowe says he has no idea. When he and assistant Martyn Booty were reappointed on January 2, they were given the job until the end of the season. Only a fortnight from the final they have yet to hear something.
“I really can’t say what’s going to happen. At this stage of the season most managers would have had some sort of talks about players and budgets. Boots and I expected to be spoken to but that hasn’t happened,” said the Tigers boss.
“We’ve talked to a couple of directors, and I understand there was a meeting this week, but we’ve heard nothing. We’re surprised, and I have to say disappointed, that our future is still in doubt because as a manager I should now be confirming the players we’ll be keeping and looking for new ones. We can’t do any of that at the minute because we just don’t know.”
Lowe feels he and Booty deserve the chance to lead Hyde in the Evo-stik NPL next season and believes they could assemble a championship side.
As he readily points out, since they returned to Ewen Fields at the start of the year they have stopped the rot. They have not only created a young team capable of holding its own against the division’s top clubs, but have slashed the wage bill too.
Lowe, who insists he and Booty would like nothing more than to stay at Ewen Fields, added: “We feel we’ve made a difference and I would argue with anyone who says otherwise. We’ve worked really hard and we’re confident that given the tools we could get the side back up next year. But as yet we haven’t had chance to talk about those tools.
“I love the club and I do genuinely consider a lot of the people there to be friends. They’ve been fantastic to us, they’ve been fantastic to the team, they’ve got behind the young boys, and they’ve got behind me and Martyn.
“Boots and I really do want to stay but things need to be right and they need to be sorted out quickly. In fact, it should all have been done already.
“Unfortunately, as things stand, in a fortnight’s time we’re out of it. It’s a case of yeah or nay, and if it’s nay, fine, but just tell us.”
For tomorrow’s game at Worcester, which will be played at Kidderminster’s Aggborough ground, the Tigers will be without team captain Josh Brizell, who has a groin injury, and striker Ryan Masterson, who will be playing for Blackburn Rovers Under-21s.
Kyle Brownhill has a long-term knee injury but there might be another appearance for Adam Thurston who came on as a sub against Bradford Park Avenue after a lengthy lay-off.
On Tuesday, Hyde are home to Stockport County in a replay of the match that had to be abandoned at the end of March. Segregation will be in place but admission prices have been reduced.
STALYBRIDGE CELTIC will be without defenders Matt Regan and Stefan Galinski when they take on high-flying Boston United at home tomorrow.
Regan is suspended and will also miss next weekend’s trip to Hednesford. Galinski cannot play as part of the agreement which brought him to Bower Fold from Boston earlier in the season.
Peter Wylie, who made an impressive debut in Monday’s 2-0 win at Guiseley, and Nathan Heath, are expected to line up alongside Matty Hughes, who signed a contract extension this week that will keep him at Stalybridge until the end of next season.
Skipper Scott Kerr, who missed Monday’s game, is expected to return to the starting line-up.
A win for the Celtic will all but secure Vanarama Conference North safety as new manager Liam Watson attempts to extend his unbeaten start.
In the Evo-stik NPL premier division, neither Ashton club has much in the way of selection problems as they set out to make sure of play-off places.
ASHTON UNITED, who could go a long way towards sealing second place, behind FC United, face a tough strip to seventh-placed Barwell who are traditionally a dour, physical side.
Midfielder Brad Robinson (ankle) is the only absentee. Striker Martin Pilkington, who was complaining of a sore throat earlier in the week, appears to have recovered.
CURZON ASHTON, who suffered a surprise home defeat to struggling Nantwich last week, are home to midtable Kings Lynn and need a victory to stay one step ahead of Blyth Spartans in the final play-off place.
In the first division north, MOSSLEY need to pick themselves up after Monday’s defeat by Lancaster. A win would keep them within sight of Bamber Bridge and the play-offs but they face a very difficult match away at second-placed Darlington.
Co-managers Peter Band and Lloyd Morrison at least have the luxury of a full squad to pick from. Striker Rio Ahmadi returns after being unavailable on Monday.
Ban Hampson is still injured for DROYLSDEN who visit Lancaster and now seem destined for a midtable finish. However, the Bloods have suspensions pending for the final few weeks of the season.
Michael Bowler returns for new North West Counties League leaders GLOSSOP NORTH END who visit Barnoldswick at the end of a punishing if highly satisfactory week.
Eddie Moran and Sam Grimshaw picked up slight niggles in last night’s 4-0 defeat of St Helens in which Sam Hare made his first appearance for many months.