A couple of months on from securing our EFL status, we caught up with the manager as the team resumed training ahead of Macc’s pre-season schedule. After some time out, Sol reflected upon last season’s memorable escape.
“The achievement is massive.
"The whole journey to get the guys believing that they can stay up and play good football at the same time is a fantastic achievement.
"You can’t describe the pain and the joy everyone went through to get off the bottom and stop the whole thing falling apart.
"We had to dig deep and we survived. We’re really appreciative of the fans and everyone involved at the club - it was great.
I think you can [take momentum into the new season]. We’ve got to learn from the mistakes and learn from how hard it was."
Although he didn’t relish it as a player, Sol emphasised the importance of pre-season in gaining fitness and building foundations for the upcoming campaign.
“I hated pre-season!
"You’ve got to get fit. Some guys will be better in the beginning, some guys will build up as the pre-season goes on. Some guys will get better after the first 3 or 4 games. Everybody gets fit at certain times.
"The key is getting it right for each individual player.
"It’s a new season, new start and we can control how we get fit and our foundations going forward.”
In addition to a few new arrivals at the Moss Rose there have been several contract renewals in the squad, including midfielder Adam Dawson on a one-year deal.
"It’s really nice to have a fresh, clean slate for [Adam] to show what he can do.
"It’s great to have guys with good attitude, and that’s what we want going forward.
"It’s important to get some fresh faces in, and new energy. I think that’s very important to balance the mentality in the squad and then manage it.
"We’re like a family, and we can all progress together."
Sol went on to discuss stamping his own identity on the team, indicating that his style of football is coming together but these things take time.
“I think that takes 3 or 4 transfer windows to really get your own team. What you can start to do is get some players in and start to play how you want to play.
"I think the system we settled in the last number of games of last season I think that’s a good basis for us. I like that system.”
The Silkmen’s pre-season programme begins at Congleton Town on Tuesday 9th July and the priority is getting the squad back to full match fitness.
“It’s all about fitness. Getting the guys back on the pitch and getting minutes under their belts.
"We’re not too worried about the opposition. It’s all about us - how we want to play, relationships between the new players. I need to glue the philosophy together. We can worry about who we’re playing once the points are on the table.”
Exeter City will be Macc’s opponents on the opening day of the 2019/20 campaign, and despite doing the double against The Grecians last season Sol is under no illusions of the test that lies ahead for this game and the season to come.
“It’s a new challenge. They’ll be up for it, the beginning of the season. That’s why it’s very important making sure we get the pre-season right, because I want the guys up and running for that first game.
"They’re a top side looking to get out of the division. They’ve got a decent budget behind them and decent players as well. It’ll be a good test for us. It’s all about us now, getting the right team together.
"We want to be successful. We want to stay in the division. I think those things are fundamental. I think the players want to keep that quality going and playing against quality opposition.
"For us it’s all about not starting so many points down, and also switching on from the first game, the first second and having that belief to kick on.
"Other teams will have bigger budgets. But if we work together as a team and become a solid unit we’ll give a lot of teams a run for their money who have double, triple, quadruple budgets than us. You’ve just got to work harder."