UPDATED: Deja vu for Neilson as he takes temporary charge of the Hatters for a third time

Taking charge of the Hatters on a temporary basis is a case of deja vu for assistant manager Alan Neilson, writes Mark Wood.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 21st February 2013, 6:40 pm

It’s the third time a manager has left Kenilworth Road and Neilson has had to assume temporary charge.

And he’s been too busy firefighting the current situation and concentrating on Saturday’s visit of Mansfield to draft his resume for the Hatters hotseat.

He said: “Last time Paul Buckle took charge, he came in on a Friday. It’s my third time (in temporary charge), and I just concentrate on the team and trying to get the team to get the three points.”

Neilson joked he hasn’t even had time to put his name forward for the top job, but he’s fully aware of what managing director Gary Sweet and the board want from him having filled the void before.

He said: “I haven’t got time to write an application at the minute. My full concentration is on the team to go and get three points, on the lads and the squad.

“I don’t think Gary Sweet and the board have to do that (brief me) really because they know I’ve been in this situation before, they know all I’ve got to concentrate on is the three points and then the team for the Saturday. I’ll let Gary Sweet and all of them do their job.”

And he admitted that it’s even been difficult touching base with the board, who are already in full swing trying to find a replacement for Buckle.

Neislon said: “He’s (Sweet) spoke to us on Tuesday afternoon and more than likely you’ll take the game on Tuesday night and on Saturday as it turns out. I rang him yesterday and he rang me back and we kept missing each other. I think he had a busy day and we had a busy day doing our things.

“I tried to ring him this morning and went to his answering machine again so I’ll try and speak to him later. It’s busy times for all of us. My concentration at the minute is wholly on the team and trying to get the three points on Saturday and see what happens next week.”

Neilson admitted that coping without a permanent boss is far from easy, but he and the rest of the coaching team have it all in hand.

He continued: “It is tricky but we have to get on with our jobs. Be as professional as we can, organise the team on how we think Mansfield are going to play and just organised our team defensive-wise, offensive-wise and how we are going to approach the game.

“People speak and things are said, this manager’s coming in, this manager’s coming in but we just get on with our jobs. Concentrate 100 per cent on the job in hand.

“Whoever takes the job has to be in the highest position that they can. We’ve got 17 games left and after Saturday it will be 16. Whoever takes charge of the team has still got a great opportunity to get into the play-offs. You might think I’m mad but if we go on a great run like Kidderminster you could even win the league because it’s that tight. Teams will be playing each other at the top.

“Until it’s mathematically untenable we can’t do it, we will try to win each game.”

And he was keen to avoid going into the reasons for Buckle’s departure as he focused on Saturday’s visit of Mansfield.

He added: “I will leave that to Gary Sweet and Paul Buckle himself to talk to the press about it. It came as a big shock. But it happens in football, you never know what’s going to happen and we’ve just got to look forward to the game on Saturday.

“We spoke about it Tuesday night after the game. It was a shock to everybody’s systems, but we got on with it. We came in on Wednesday and did the cool down and trained Wednesday. We’ve been in today, trained today, and we’ll train tomorrow and try and prepare all the lads for Saturday.

“Me and the coaching staff have spoken about it yesterday, we had a real long chat and didn’t leave here until six o’clock last night going through all the different formations and different teams we could select. We will go with the team that we think can go and do the job on Saturday.”