Prescot Cables caretaker manager Lee Bignell has opened up on the “whirlwind” week at the club following the departure of Craig Davies.
Bignell was Davies’ assistant after the former manager took over in 2020 but after just one win and one draw in the Northern Premier League West.
They did manage wins in the FA Cup overcoming Campion and Charnock Richard but a 3-0 home defeat to Whitby Town spelt the end of the road for Davies.
Bignell thought he was relieved of his duties too until he spoke with the hierarchy at Cables and was reinstated as caretaker alongside John Sporson and Dean Barker.
But thanks to two first half goals from Mackenzie O’Neill and Steven Tames, Cables got off to a winning start under Biggs.
“Crazy if I’m being honest, obviously we got the news on Thursday that the club was parting ways with Craig. I actually thought it was myself as well, Craig was the gaffer so I went with him,” he detailed.
“To find out on the Friday, it wasn’t me that club wanted to get rid of, it was Craig, it was a bit of a difficult, difficult situation if I’m being honest.
“I had a chat with Craig but ultimately I did want to go back to the club, the team we’ve built and the lads we’ve got in the dressing room I believe in.
“The staff that were John [Sporson] and Dean [Barker] great people but I thought it would’ve been tough for them to run the team on their own and a bit unfair.
“So I had a chat with Craig and spoke with the chairman and the club made the decision to put me in interim charge while they continue the application process, mad couple of days but of a whirlwind if you like.”
The partnership of Davies and Bignell took the reigns on Merseyside in difficult circumstances and we forced to steer the team through a broken, curtailed season during the pandemic.
But now the head coach, he hopes he can follow the track they set after initially laying the foundations.
“We were going in the right direction anyway, granted there was a couple of results that never went our way. The performances were there but we needed to tweak a couple of things, in terms of defensively I thought we were weak.
“I’m not going to totally divert off the track Craig put in place, I’m going to keep in that track but implement a few of my own ideas and I few things I think need working on.
“First game Saturday one the first we done was I’m going to be a bit direct with players. In terms of letting them know when they make mistakes, if no ones telling them how are they meant to know they made a mistake and I told them it’s not going to be a criticism, I’m just going to make them aware and recognise their mistake and they need to recognise their mistake and we need to improve.
“It worked perfectly Saturday, I had a chat with the goalkeeper, I had a chat with the forward, the goalkeeper was probably the best performance I seen him play and the forward scored. There’s not going to be a change in the direction we’re going and the direction is going to be up and ultimately we want to climb the table, we should be right up there.
“That’s going to be the aim and it was the aim when Craig was there, I want to be on the same path just make a few of my own tweaks really.
“I enjoyed working under Craig, he was a fantastic coach. I’m a manager and there’s a massive difference in the football world I’ve always managed clubs, teams and Craig hadn’t, he come from the academy background and that was something I wanted to tap into and obviously he was trying to tap into some of my managerial knowledge.
“We worked well, it had its moments where it was challenging but I enjoyed working with him, he’s a good man. But football is a results-based business and a performance-based business, ultimately if you’re not doing well these things happen and I respect the clubs decisions.
“Ultimately it doesn’t wait round for no one so unfortunately we have to move on.”
Cables went into the match losing their captain, vice-captain and manager in the space of the week.
But they showed courage and determination to overcome the adversity through the week to beat Kidsgrove Athletic 2-1 thanks to first-half goals from O’Neill and Tames.
A performance and three points which eclipsed any previous achievement for Bignell.
“I couldn’t of been prouder of the lads on Saturday, the week the team had, they lost the captain, vice-captain and the gaffer it could’ve been so easy for them lads to be distracted and turn up on Saturday with their heads not on it, the preparation wasn’t great because we didn’t get training done probably because of the meeting we had with the chairman.
“It would’ve quite way easy for the lads to not be fully aware of the importance of the fixture but I had a chat with them before the game and I said we shut the door, we shut the outside world out and we focus on right now and that’s all we do and the response was phenomenal.
“Each and every one of them to a man was brilliant and I couldn’t be much prouder, we had 10 men for more than 45 minutes but we dug in and Kidsgrove are no mugs.
“They had some good players, quite direct and I thought we handled it really well. It was probably one of my biggest and best wins in terms of everything that led up to it.
“I’ve won cups before that win Saturday was one of my best ones because of everything happening outside the football and surrounding it.
“I think a lot of people wrote us off on Saturday because of everything leading up to the game, losing your captain, losing your vice-captain and losing your gaffer in one week it’s a massive hit for any club in any division for them lads to react like that filled me with a great sense of pride in what we were doing. I was so proud I’ve probably never been prouder and happier with the result.”
However for the caretaker boss, the next game is just on the horizon and for Cables it’s a trip to Trafford as they look to make it three wins in three, building on wins over Ramsbottom United and Saturday’s triumph.
Despite his role, being temporary for the moment, and the fact it would be a honour to be appointed the role, the focus remains on building on the recent success.
“There is quality there but there was certain areas that we needed to improve on, two wins against two top teams. Ramsbottom we beat them and Kidsgrove and we just beat them, the only way is up for us.
“If we continue doing what we’re doing, I can make the defensive situation a bit stronger, if I can make them tweaks in the team we can be a little bit stronger and I think we’re going to be up there. It’s going to be difficult to challenge for the league by all means but I want to be in the top half I don’t want to be a bottom half side, I want to be top half of the table.
“This isn’t going to be a one-off season, I want this to continue and Prescot back on the amount among the top teams.
“To take on the Prescot job would be a huge honour for anyone it’s a big club, the fan base is unbelievable. At the minute I’m solely focused on taking it game by game and protecting the lads because there has been too many distractions from the outside world.
“So I’ve told the lads were going to shut the doors and focus on us and the results. I’d love to get the job but that’s up to the club and the board decision. I’m not going to dwell on that really I just want to focus on football and the lads.”