New Woodford United manager Mitch Austin says he is not daunted by the challenge that lies ahead at Byfield Road.
Former Bugbrooke St Michael’s A team boss Austin was appointed by the Reds on Monday, taking over from Mark O’Callaghan who has been forced to step aside due to health problems.
It is a huge task for the new man at the helm as he looks to end Woodford’s 52-game winless streak.
But Austin isn’t fazed by that record and is instead relishing the chance to be the man who finally gets that valuable victory on the board.
He said: “It’s not daunting at all. If I get that win, they’ll put a statue of me in the village! If I don’t get the win, I won’t be the first manager who hasn’t. There is no fear there.
“The next run of games is a massively tough test and we will be the newcomers with a new squad and no real pre-season in the tank.
“But slowly and surely you will see a difference.”
Austin has already begun making approaches for players he knows from his time at Bugbrooke, knowing Woodford need shaking up following two big defeats in UCL Division One.
The Reds, who were relegated from the Southern League last season before taking voluntary demotion from the UCL Premier Division, suffered a 6-0 defeat to Rushden & Higham and a 7-0 drubbing by ON Chenecks.
And Austin said: “It’s a very, very big challenge, but it’s something I’m looking forward to.
“I managed the A side at Bugbrooke and then moved up to be No.2 for Paul Field in the first team, so they obviously saw something in me.
“But I wanted my own team and I really believe I can come here and steady the ship.
“It’s obvious the club needs an influx of new players and I’ve got a few lads who will be coming with me from Bugbrooke.
“But that doesn’t mean there aren’t also some gems already at the club and it will take about a month to see my side unfold.”
Austin has not been placed under any pressure by Woodford chairman Andy Worrall, who says he will be given time to get the win the club craves (story on page 79).
And Austin said: “That’s brilliant to hear. It was one of the advantages of taking the job.
“I’m not sure there’d have been too many applicants if promotion was the aim.”