Racing Club get off to a positive start for new boss Clarke

New Racing Club manager Tony Clarke (left) pictured after teaming up with Curly O'Callaghan in May. MHLC-15-05-12 Racing Club May64
New Racing Club manager Tony Clarke (left) pictured after teaming up with Curly O'Callaghan in May. MHLC-15-05-12 Racing Club May64

New Racing Club Warwick manager Tony Clarke was delighted with the response of his side after seeing them come back from 2-1 down at Pershore on Tuesday night to claim a draw in his first game in charge.

As revealed online by the Courier & Weekly News on Monday, Clarke was promoted from assistant manager after Curly O’Callaghan decided to bring an end to his five-and-a-half month spell in charge at Townsend Meadow.

A tricky trip to Pershore was first up for the former Rugby Town assistant boss, but Luke Swinnerton’s second-half strike added to Ben Purser’s opener to stem a run of four successive league defeats and Clarke said it was important to break the losing habit.

“It stopped the rot and I’m really pleased,” said Clarke. “There were loads of positives and I told the players we should start the season from now.

“I got them in at half-time and told them they had to believe in themselves and show no fear and we showed a lot of character in the second half.”

Racing Club could even have gone on to win the game, hitting the post just a minute after drawing level, but Clarke, who grew up in Warwick, says the most important thing at the moment is to bring some stability to the club.

“We need to get continuity throughout the club, both on and off the pitch, putting the right people in place which will then allow the club to progress and go forward.

“It will be a challenge but I will apply myself 100 per cent week-in, week-out.

“I would ask the people of Warwick to come down and support the club and work together to try and get this club going forward in the right direction.”

O’Callaghan informed the players of his decision to quit last Thursday and took charge of his final game on Saturday, leading Racers to an 8-3 win against Coventry Spires in the Coventry Evening Telegraph Cup.

He left the club one off the bottom of the Midland Combination Premier Division and with only one league win from their last ten.

However, he said it was not the club’s onfield performances but the players’ lack of commitment that was the main reason for his walking away.

“It is something I’ve thought about for the last two or three weeks,” admitted O’Callaghan.

“I’ve found it hard to manage at this level.

“It’s not the getting beat every week, it’s the mentality of the players.

“You speak to them on a Thursday and then they just don’t turn up on a Saturday.

“The hardcore that are here are good lads and an honest bunch, but I’m getting four, five, six drop out every Saturday morning.

“It’s been frustrating and players have seen the frustration in me.”

Clarke takes charge of his second game tomorrow with Bolehall Swifts the visitors (3pm).

Tom Cooper and Mark Briggs should to return to the side after missing the midweek trip to Pershore, while midfielder Richard Blythe has joined on loan from Rugby Town.

Stuart Herlihy is also in with a chance of starting having been expected to train last night.