AVELEY’S manager crisis could be solved tomorrow (Saturday), according to club secretary, Craig Johnson.
But even if the Millers do appoint a new boss in time for Saturday’s tough away clash with on-form Wealdstone, the Mill Field outfit are being brutally realistic about their chances of survival in the Ryman Premier League.
Johnson – who will probably meet with chairman Graham Gennings and vice chairman Alan Suttling today (Friday) to decide on the new boss – says that Aveley’s manager may even be in place in time for tomorrow’s trip to Kent.
But Johnson has made it clear that, whether or not the new appointment has been made, the incoming boss, who takes over from caretaker Lee Patterson, will not be expected to work miracles.
Johnson said: “There’s lots of rubbish being talked at the moment, including that Lee Patterson has the full time job. Patterson is a good friend of the club and has stepped in to help us out – but he does not want the job.
“He’s involved on a true caretaker basis and will be in charge until we have made the new appointment.
“We have spoken to more than two people who want to lead Aveley.
“The quality of the applicants has been very good. The last person I spoke to came here for an interview which we finished on Monday evening. It is going to be difficult to choose between these people.
“What we have made clear to the people who have approached us is that we are being realistic about their involvement with Aveley.
“Some people have been surprised by our stance and by our honesty.
“Even Fabio would have his work cut out to keep us up! Of course, I would love to think that we can stay in the Ryman Premier.
“But the new boss will be in charge for just 14 games – and at the moment we are looking at the longer term and about getting somebody in to stay here and prepare us for the next season whether, we are in the Ryman Premier or Division One North,” he added.
Millers future in the Premier is precarious with the tally so far a paltry 18 points. Bottom of the table Horsham are just seven points behind them on 11.
The third and fourth from bottom slots are occupied by Tooting & Mitcham, and Leatherhead, who are are well clear of the bottom two with 25 and 26 points respectively.
Johnson says that the focus for the new manager will be as much about looking forward to the 2012-13 season as the remainder of this term.
“We are looking at this long term. It’s about building up for next summer.
“Of course, we would love to turn it around this time – and we have not given up hope – but, being realistic, we’re hoping the new manager will start building for next season.
“There is no way that, should we get relegated, the manager will get the blame. And I’ve made that clear to the people we’ve been interviewing.
“In a way, it means the new boss can focus on getting players together and keeping them over the summer. It could even give us an advantage for next term because the group of players may stay together rather than breaking apart which is what usually happens if a team is relegated,” he added.
On Thursday Aveley travelled to Chadfields for a friendly against Tilbury in an attempt to boost the fitness of their players.
As long as the warmer weather continues there should be plenty of non-league action in the borough this weekend. Matches (Saturday): Thurrock FC v Maidenhead (Blue Square Bet South) Tilbury v Needham Market (Ryman One North) East Thurrock v Margate (Ryman Premier) Thamesmead Town v Grays Athletic (Ryman 1 North) Tuesday (February 21): Thurrock v Farnborough East Thurrock v Harrow Borough