NLP: Tooth’s Hungry To Grab Second Chance

Neil Tooth has praised his working relationship with the Sutton Coldfield Town hierarchy, after chairman Nick Thurston gave him the dreaded vote of confidence.

The Royals suffered heavy back-to-back defeats in the space of a week, going down 7-1 to Belper Town before a 6-0 thrashing at home to Lincoln United.

With speculation over Tooth’s future at the club rife, Thurston took swift action to end talk of his dismissal, something the manager feels can settle a few nerves.

“It puts to bed a few rumours because the vultures were circling,” Tooth said.

“I’ve got a fantastic relationship with our chairman. He leaves me to it, never interferes with anything on the football side. He doesn’t question performances and knows over the last couple of yours that we’ve punched way above our weight.

“Last year, we were one of the favourites to get relegated and we were on course for the play-offs before the pandemic and had brilliant runs in the FA Cup and FA Trophy.

“It’s brilliant for me and my staff to get the vote of confidence. Nick is a man of his word. He didn’t need to come out and go public with it but it’s refreshing to see.

“You see with how people have been reacting to it, it’s been so positive. More people should do this kind of thing. You see it all the time, managers losing their jobs when they probably shouldn’t.

“We haven’t been good enough, it’s as simple as that. We haven’t had much luck – we’ve had an injury list like I’ve never known in all my time in football but that doesn’t hide the fact that performance-wise we just haven’t been good enough.”

A midweek win over Worksop Town stopped the rot for now. And despite their rocky start, Tooth is certain things will continue to improve as they target a promotion tilt.

“It’s been a few sleepless nights trying to get my head round what’s gone wrong because it’s not an ability thing,” he added.

“The players have ability and we’ve put a squad together to compete in this league.

“We’re not a club that live beyond our means. There’s a lot of work that goes in behind the scenes to make the club sustainable.

“It’s good to be part of that, we know we’re all disappointed with how the season has started and the statement Nick made is a bit of comfort that also gives us the chance to attract some more players to help us get out of this league.

“But I’m not daft, I’ve been around football long enough to know that if these kinds of defeats continue and there wasn’t improvement then that’s a different story.

“I want Sutton Coldfield to do well, not just for me. My family live in the town and we’re part of the community so I want us to do well for everyone.”

This interview featured in The Non-League Paper on Sunday 18 October 2020.

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