Sol Campbell’s first win in management came on a bitterly cold, wet and windy day but Macclesfield’s performance gave him confidence there are brighter days ahead for the Football League’s bottom club.
The Silkmen moved to within four points of safety with a 2-0 win over Crawley, thanks to Elliott Durrell’s first league goal and a late header from Harry Smith.
Some horrendous weather made things far from straightforward, with the howling winds helping Macclesfield in the first half and hurting them in the second, while a floodlight failure at half-time raised the risk of the whole thing being called off.
With the winds at their backs, Macclesfield had dominated the first half and fully deserved the lead given to them by Durrell’s 25-yard strike, but Campbell was just as happy with the way they weathered the storm after the extended break.
“Crawley were coming up and we had a few hairy moments, but you need that,” the ex-England defender said.
“For me that will give the lads great confidence that they got through that game with the wind against them and a team pushing on. That will give them confidence and we can build on that.”
Durrell’s strike was the highlight of the match, even if it may have been wind assisted as it sailed past Glenn Morris and into the far corner.
“It was a fantastic strike,” Campbell said. “That’s what we need. We need to go for it, seize the opportunity. If you don’t shoot you don’t score, if you don’t buy a ticket you don’t win the lottery.”
As he stood out on the sideline doing his best to stay sheltered from the conditions, Campbell may have been wondering why he had worked so hard to earn his shot in management.
But he rejected the idea that overseeing a hard-fought win in front of a shivering crowd of 1,362 represented a culture shock having scaled the heights as a player.
“For me it’s all about a learning process,” the former Arsenal and Tottenham player said. “There’s good players out there, and you look up and down the league and see teams playing football. We want to be one of those clubs.
“For me dropping down here, it’s my first job and I want to get on with it, I want to play how I want to play. I’m not looking at the whole league and saying it’s League Two, for me it’s football.
“We need to win and we need to get up. It’s a real thing, it’s not Mickey Mouse football. It’s real-time football with people, players, fans and the whole club, this club needs to stay up.
“Saying it’s League Two for me is a bit harsh on it. For me it’s football.”
For Crawley, this was an eighth defeat in 10 away games, and continues a poor run of form which has seen them slip to 16th, seven points above the drop zone.
Manager Gabriele Cioffi admitted something needs to change before next weekend’s match at home to Carlisle.
“Every game we want three points but probably we have to do something different because at the moment we are in a phase where it does not work,” the Italian said.
“I can’t complain with how the boys do in training, or even how they did today. We’ve played worse and won.”