Millington's appointment ensures continuity but new Shaymen boss can't waste any time tackling his to-do list

FC Halifax Town have acted swiftly and decisively in appointing Chris Millington as their new manager.

By Tom Scargill
Saturday, 28th May 2022, 8:40 pm
Updated Saturday, 28th May 2022, 8:43 pm

Forty-eight hours after Pete Wild left the club to join Barrow, his trusted number two has taken charge.

The appointment guarantees continuity, reinforces the identity and playing style that has been established, and possibly ensures, perhaps optimistically, that some squad members who may have been looking elsewhere might now stay on having seemed to thoroughly enjoy working with Millington.

One obvious question mark is over Millington's lack of experience as a number one, but that goes for every first time manager, and every manager was a first-time manager once. Some succeed and some don't, but you don't know unless you try.

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Chris Millington. Photo: Marcus Branston

The fact that the appointment has happened quickly is vital, as Millington's to-do list is overflowing with urgent items of business.

Speed was of the essence - a lot of players' futures are up in the air and pre-season poking its head round the corner soon.

Town face an uphill battle in keeping some of their star players from this season, and if they don't, replacements will need to be recruited quickly. The challenge there will surely lie in restocking the squad with the same level of quality.

Opting for Millington means there'll be no getting-to-know-you period for those who stay on next season, or for the manager in familiarising himself with the inner workings of the club, while the backroom team may also stay in place now too.

Millington is tactically astute, a deep thinker about the game, and passionate about working with players and helping them improve.

He must now follow in his friend Wild's footsteps by making the most of a modest budget with astute signings and creating a productive environment resulting in attractive, progressive football, although Millington had a not inconsiderable role in doing just that over the last three years anyway.

So many players over the last three years have spoken of the happy atmosphere at the club. The great-group-of-lads cliché was mentioned ad nauseum but there always seemed a genuine sentiment behind it during Wild's tenure.

That collective spirit was the driving force behind Town's transformation, everyone buying into the ethos that the team is the most important thing, bigger than the sum of its parts.

At a club where big transfer fees and wages aren't an option, motivation and inspiration has to be drawn from elsewhere.

And Millington will need to tap into that same spirit of togetherness, as well as identifying and inspiring players of strong character, who are hungry and have a point to prove or have untapped potential to fulfil.

Wild has shown that Halifax's budget and resources shouldn't be a barrier to aspirations of promotion or attractive football.

He accepted Town's limitations but still aimed big, not letting them restrict his ambitions.

And if Millington is to maintain the club's upward trajectory, he must do the same by making the most of what they've got and making up for what they don't by fostering a shared sense of purpose and unity on and off the pitch.