Paul Oddy says Phil Mason’s departure was where it all started to go wrong for Woodford United.
The Reds go into Saturday’s home game against Uxbridge without a point to their name in the Southern League Division One Central this season.
Mason, who was in his 10th season as boss, was sacked via email in September, with striker Howard Forinton taking over managerial duties.
But Forinton’s reign lasted just five weeks as he refused to accept budget cuts, leaving youth team bosses Oddy and Pete Harris to take charge.
They have been unable to turn around the fortunes of the club, who look destined for relegation as they are 10 points adrift at the bottom of the table following last weekend’s results, with North Greenford winning 2-0 at Thatcham and Woodford losing 7-1 at Chalfont St Peter. Greenford won again on Tuesday night.
And Oddy said: “It’s difficult, isn’t it? I’d love to say we can still stay up and while it was four points we still had a chance, but now it’s 10...
“Even if we beat North Greenford when we play them, we’ll still be seven points behind them.
“In the real world, we’ve got 12 games left and we’re just going to try hard to get our first points of the season.
“Some people had told me to walk away, because I had a good record before I took this on but it’s tough now.”
And Oddy admits he could never have envisaged such a scenario developing at the start of the season.
“This all comes down to Phil Mason’s departure,” he said. “He was here for 10 years and then got sacked. We were pushing for him to stay and the last thing we could have imagined was that we’d be in charge. All I wanted was for Phil to stay here because he had his own players playing for him and they had good experience. Phil leaving was where it all went wrong.
“We’ve got a tight budget now, but I’m no quitter. I just want to see if we can get some points.”