‘We were down in the dumps’ – Widnes manager Dave Dempsey offers insight to turnaround

Widnes find the back of the net against Marine.

Widnes manager Dave Dempsey labelled the turnaround following his appointment as great after they finished just outside the top half.

Dempsey took over Widnes with the side struggling in the bottom three after his predecessors stepped down.

Following his appointment, he looked to cement their foundations and amend their efforts up front and as a result, they began to steer themselves up the table.

With the likes of Prescot Cables enjoying a resurgence, Widnes had to ensure they moved up the pack in the bottom half of the table and with wins over promotion-chasing Workington, it ensured they would challenge in the top 10.

“We had our main goal at the start of the season, we came in in September and we were down in the dumps, the football club, the playing staff were a little bit low,” the Widnes manager told Off The Park.

“We had our aspirations but our first aspiration was safety considering where we were. The turnaround since we come in, buy in off the players, off the club and the support we’ve had has been great. It’s more than just on the pitch, the whole ethos and where we’re at as a club is stronger than when we come in.

“That’s no dig at the previous management team, it’s all come together quickly. You have times in football where that new body coming through the door is the right time whether it was me or someone else it was the right time for that to happen.

“We’ve had some great, great, results and a lot of ups and downs. In the grand scheme of things this season has been a successful one from where we were when we come in, from what the club wanted to achieve, we’ve gone from being second bottom in the league, with four points in nine games and only three goals scored to challenging for a top half finish.

“Although we’ve not actually won anything, we can take positives from this year and build on it next year which gives us a really good foundation. 

“We had six draws, we beat Glossop as our last win at home. But what people fail to understand we’ve had some tough games and our backs to the wall with refereeing decisions, it’s not a pop at the referees but we had some sendings off against City of Liverpool and Kidsgrove.

“I do believe with the way the game was going on with 11 men we’d of won both. We’ve had Marine away where we picked up a draw, we’ve had Mossley away who are a very, very good side. Although we had six draws back-to-back, four or five of them, when you reflect they’re points we shouldn’t have really got.

“Kendal and 1874 are games that have upset me the most but I said to them with five games to go we weren’t drawing enough and turn more defeats into draws if you want to challenge and they went and drew six.

“I’d say we limped over the line but we’ve been unbeaten in seven but also not won in six so it’s a weird one. Overall when we came through the door, I’m really happy with how things have gone and now the lads have allowed the club to be in this position going into next season.”

*Interview conducted in May.

[Featured image: 617 Photography]

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