MX23RW : Saturday, January 19 21:19:24

Confident Campbell sure he can save Macclesfield

Confident Campbell sure he can save Macclesfield
© Reuters
Former England man has started at the very bottom of the English Football League.

Sol Campbell is confident he is the right man to lead Macclesfield to safety after taking charge of the struggling Silkmen in his first managerial role.

The 44-year-old former England, Tottenham and Arsenal defender has signed an 18-month contract at Moss Rose.

Campbell has had to wait a long time for his chance as a manager, and the one he has got puts him in at the deep end with Macclesfield bottom of League Two, four points from safety.

But Campbell, who had a spell as assistant manager of Trinidad & Tobago and recently spent 10 days with England Under-21s boss Aidy Boothroyd, dismissed questions about his lack of experience.

"I know Macclesfield fans will probably think, 'What's going on here?'" he said.

"But you've got an international footballer who has been one of the best footballers in the world coming to your club. I think there's a nice mutual balance there."

Campbell won two Premier League titles and three FA Cups with Arsenal and Portsmouth, while being named in the All-Star team at the 2002 World Cup, but recognised he will need to "roll up my sleeves and get my hands dirty" in Macclesfield's survival battle.

"Really when you look at a gamble, they had a manager here and it didn't work out for whatever reason, an experienced manager," he said. "That happens up and down the country.

"Regardless of when I have come in, I have to take the opportunity with both hands. I've studied a lot. Yes, this is my first full-time job but you've got to start somewhere.

"I am honoured to be here and I will work my socks off and use my experience. I know football inside-out."

Campbell has made no secret of his desire to become a manager and has spoken out on a number of occasions about the barriers for aspiring Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) coaches.

His appointment means there are now eight black managers in England's top four divisions.

"For me, it's all about opportunities," he said. "I'm not going to go down that road and state the obvious. For me, I've got an opportunity and I'm going to take it with both hands. I'm going to work my socks off and see how far I can go. That's the thing for me, really.

"I want it to become normal so you don't see black or white. You just see a football manager."

Though he played at the very highest levels of the game, Campbell has some experience of League Two, having played a solitary game for Notts County in 2009 during an ill-fated stint with the club.

And though he said he wants his team to play football out from the back, he has no illusions about what it takes to get results at this level.

"I love to play football," he said. "That's the first thing. I like my teams to play from the back, but also I have to understand if it needs to be down the line or in to Row Z, I get that. You play according to your environment."


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Sol Campbell pictured during England Under-21 training in November 2018
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