John Askey is putting last week’s disappointments behind him and now he’s hit 50 he’s heading into the future with optimism.

It’s been far from a smooth ride for the Silkmen legend since he took over as manager, but things are looking rosier at the Moss Rose these days.

Macclesfield Town may have exited the FA Cup in the qualifying stages and dropped two vital league points with Nuneaton’s last-gasp leveller at the weekend.

Paul Turnbull opened the scoring at Liberty Way but Macc only came away with a draw

But there is much to cheer Askey, as he blows out the candles on his cake and contemplates entering his 51st year.

Although he’s also lost the services of the impressive Luke Waterfall, Askey is confident he’s brought in a more-than adequate replacement as he aims for the Conference’s higher reaches.

He’s signed Liam Hogan – a Salford-raised defender with a winning mentality – on a one-month loan from Fleetwood Town.

Hogan, who’s enjoyed success with the Cod Army and Halifax, will compete for a shirt with George Pilkington, Alex Grant and, once he’s recovered, Will Haining.

“I didn’t want Luke to go but I’m hoping Liam can come in and do well,” said Askey. “Luke was more like an old-fashioned centre-half whereas Liam isn’t as big but he’s quicker on the ground.

“I was aware of him when he was at Halifax, he’s a lad that’s used to winning – he won promotion at Fleetwood so he must have been doing something right.

“He’s a young, fit lad and I’m sure he’ll fit in well here.”


While no-one relishes missing out on a cup run it means Macc can focus their attentions on the Conference and making up the gap to the top five.

They’d have been right in the mix but for those two dropped points on Saturday and Askey is hopeful that they can make up for that when they next take to the field.

“We’re still doing well, we’ve gone five without defeat in the league and we’re still unbeaten at home,” he said. “We believe we’ve got a chance, I hope the town is starting to believe in us as well.

“I’m pleased with the position we’re in and that we’re giving our supporters more to hope for than just surviving and struggling to get through the season.

“The gates are going up, people are coming to watch and to enjoy it again, so things are improving, we’re in a position where we’re able to look towards next year, rather than just next week, and I’ll be starting to talk to players about extending their contracts next week.

“There were 1,400 at the Dover game and it’s good to see that the town can turn out to give their support.”

Macc have a free weekend due to their cup defeat at Wrexham but Askey says it’s a timely break for his men, who can ease their little niggles ahead of their next game, at home to Chester on Tuesday.

That match may be a chance for a well-rested Macc to avenge their first defeat of the season at the Deva Stadium, and for Askey to get the better of his old mate Steve Burr, especially as the Blues face a trip to Southend United for their cup tie.

But Askey is only concerning himself with one thing – or three, strictly speaking.

“I don’t care about revenge, I don’t care about getting one over on Burry, I just want to get the three points,” he added. “We’re only two points away from the play-off places so it’s more about that and winning our home games. It doesn’t matter who we play, I just want to win.”