NPL Division One East
Caretaker manager Andy Monkhouse is refusing to look beyond Tadcaster Albion’s Friday night (tonight) clash with Marske United after being thrown into the hot-seat.
Steve Waide, the interim chief who held the post for five games after Paul Quinn’s exit, resigned literally minutes after the 2-1 defeat to Lincoln United on Saturday.
Former Pontefract Collieries manager Monkhouse had only rejoined Tad, a club he served briefly as a player, as Waide’s assistant a week earlier.
The deadline for applications for the permanent role is the 27th September.
To some Monkhouse is an ideal candidate for the job but the ex-Rotherham United midfielder is only interested in Marske at this point in time and he evaded the question about whether he will be applying for the role.
“Listen, I’ve not really thought much about (the permanent position),” Monkhouse told Non League Yorkshire.
“A lot has happened in the past few days and my full thoughts are just on training this week and the game on Friday.
“We’re looking to Friday, that’s basically what we are doing.
“I don’t know what the club want to do?
“I know applications are flying in which they will do.
“I’m just looking to Friday and hopefully we’ll get a win and see what happens after that.”
Unless discussions after Friday do not go well, it is expected Monkhouse will be in charge of Tadcaster for at least two weeks.
The club will have to sift through the deluge of applications and the lack of a game on the 2nd October due to Cleethorpes Town’s FA Cup run buys more time for them.
Providing no fixtures are thrown in, Tadcaster’s next game after Marske is the FA Trophy tie against Runcorn Linnets on October 9th.
But regardless of what the future holds, Monkhouse will rank the last ten days as a unusual period in his long football career.
“When the league started up again in August I’ve been going to different games to keep my eye in,” he said.
“When Steve initially made that phone call and asked if I could help out (as his assistant) I was delighted.
“We played Stocksbridge last Tuesday and then Lincoln on Saturday and Steve decided he was walking away and ultimately it has left me in charge.
“It has been a bizarre two weeks.
“I have been in football a long time so you know nothing runs smoothly and anything can change at any moment.
“I spoke to the club on Sunday morning and they didn’t have anyone in mind to take training this week and the game on Friday.
“They asked me to be in charge and yes that’s fine.
“From my point of view all the thoughts are towards Friday night and the club will have their views and I’ll have mine and we’ll go from there.
“We’ve come to the arrangement that we’ll speak after Friday.
“Yes you could say I wasn’t expecting to be in charge but I am for at least until Friday so I’ll give my best for the players and hopefully we can get a positive result.”
In what could be his only game in charge of Tadcaster, his team face an almighty challenge in Marske United, one of the favourites for the league title.
“It is the way the fixtures have gone but I said to the players that they have to embrace the fact that one of the stronger teams in the league is coming to Tadcaster,” he said.
“We have to get on with and I hope the lads will rise to the occasion.
“Ever since Sunday I have been speaking to people.
“I have a few friends in the North East so I know a lot of people who have seen them play and I know the majority of their squad from either Hartlepool or Whitby.
“So I know how they play so I’ve done my research.
“Listen, we’ll just be as prepared as we possibly can but we know it is a difficult task.”
One positive Monkhouse can take into the visit of Marske is that even though Tad have only won once this season, performances have been good.
“It has not been a season that the club expected,” he said.
“A couple of managerial changes and results haven’t gone the way they wanted so it has been a tough opening seven or eight games.”
“Stocksbridge was my first game so I’ve only been here over a week.
“But the team are actually playing okay.
“It is not as if they are really really struggling.
“I heard the story of the season is they have had big chances in games and haven’t taken them and defensively made a few mistakes.”
The caretaker role with Tadcaster makes Monkhouse’s first return to number one semi-pro management since his exit from Pontefract Collieries in January after less than an year at the helm.
Monkhouse had to totally rebuild the side in July 2020 as nearly all the squad had followed previous manager Craig Parry to Worksop Town.
The Colls opted to move away from the predominately youthful side philosophy and bring back Craig Rouse as manager and players from their recent past glories.
“It was a mutual decision that we parted ways and there was a lot of disappointment in that,” Monkhouse added.
“We and the club decided we’d go our separate ways and they have decided to go the way they have which is fine.
“(The season) wasn’t ideal with everything alongside the pandemic and we ended up getting a win on the Tuesday night 24 hours the country was in (the second) lockdown and the league was finished.
“It was difficult to get momentum.
“But I had a good group of players at Pontefract so there is a bit of disappointment.”
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