Macclesfield Town manager Sol Campbell admits he is relishing his new managerial role as he prepares to take charge of his first game this evening.
The new Silkmen boss has had a week to settle into his new surroundings and is currently loving life at the Moss Rose.
“I’m excited. I’m enjoying every second of it. It’s been really really good.
“Being here has kind of focused me because you have to do everything here.
“Everyone mucks in and I like the attitude and the ethos about it. I’m enjoying life here.
Campbell was in attendance for the 1-0 away victory over Exeter City last week and has since overseen a number of training sessions which have allowed him to implement his new methods and systems.
And the two-time Premier League title winner has been encouraged by the players’ positivity in training
“I think my initial impressions of the players haven’t changed.
“They’re a talented squad and I think they really want to do well. Playing wise they have a lot to offer.
“Some of the players are coming back into the team from injury’s, so everyone is knitting together and working hard whilst responding to my training methods and ideas, so it’s good.
“I think they’ve taken it all on board.
“They’ve enjoyed themselves, but they’ve worked hard as well - that’s the main thing which I wanted to put across.
“But if you’re working with the ball and getting fit at the same time, that’s what it’s all about.
“They’re learning as well, so for me it’s like they’ve taken it all on board and enjoying working hard and getting everything together.
Tonight’s fixture sees the Silkmen make the trip north-east to face Newcastle Under 23’s in the Checkatrade Trophy.
And it will mark a special return for Campbell, who ironically concluded his glittering playing career at St James’ Park seven years ago.
“Football has funny ways of bringing things together, and this is no different.
“I finished my career there and I’m kind of starting my new career there as a Manager.
“It’s going to be great to go back, I think the lads are definitely up for it and it should be a good game.”
Tonight’s Checkatrade encounter will produce a different test to league opposition, with Newcastle’s U21s boasting an array of young talents.
The Silkmen boss is prepared for the potential addition of Newcastle first team players, but warned his players are not just out there to make up the numbers.
“I think the lads have got to get used to it being a big pitch.
“I think obviously with Newcastle they will be playing the football with a style and who knows, there might be a couple of older players in there as well.
“There will be good passers, they’ll be looking to play through the lines so we’ve got to be ready for that.
“Possession wise we’ve got to make sure we’re in a good position but we’ve got to be ready when we do get the ball that we attack and put ourselves up on the game.”
A 320-mile round trip to St James’ Park can be a gruelling task for many a football fan, and Campbell is grateful to all the Silkmen fans making the journey.
“Come and support the lads if you can!
“Hopefully we’ll put on a great game, it’s always good to see the fans coming to watch the team and we’ll do our best.
“Travel safely and thank you for your support”
By Jaquob Crooke