12 / 04 / 11

Gareth McClelland has set his sights on landing the managerial vacancy at Mossley on a permanent basis.

The 29-year-old took temporary charge at Seel Park for the rest of the season, following the resignation of Shaun Higgins.

He made an encouraging start at the weekend with Mossley’s 0-0 home draw against Woodley Sports — their first clean sheet since January.

Wilmslow-based McClelland, who is assisted by Eddie Haslam, hopes an unbeaten run will be enough to persuade the powers-that-be to extend his stay.

He said: “I want the job permanently, 110-per-cent without a doubt.

“This is a fantastic club with wonderful tradition. The fans are very passionate, which is a bonus.”

Former Woodley boss McClelland was most recently at fellow ESL Division One North outfit Chester City as a scout.

Four separate spying missions at Seel Park earlier this season were enough to convince the Northern Irishman that Mossley are a club with potential.

“This is an exciting time to be here, especially with so many good young players coming through,” he added.

“That is a massive part of my philosophy — I have a track record of moulding new talent and helping them to progress.

“For example, I had Liam Hogan at Woodley. He blossomed and moved to Halifax, and I know clubs in higher divisions are keeping tabs on him.

“I like developing young players and I also use a passing style. It is important to play football the right way.”

As head of boys’ PE at Reddish School, McClelland knows all about the importance of fitness in sport — and that is one area of the Mossley set-up he has already pinpointed for a ‘must do better’ report even before the end of term.

He said: “The stamina of the lads needs to improve. They are struggling towards the end of matches at the moment, and that is when mistakes can be made.

“I have identified certain weaknesses in the squad, but with the transfer window closed there is nothing I can do about it until the summer, should I be given the job.

“It is a case of ‘watch this space’. If I am happy and the club are happy with me, hopefully we can move forwards together.”

McClelland will be forced to shuffle the pack tonight when his side travel to Bamber Bridge (7.45pm kick-off).

Wing-back Cavell Coo is absent due to a back complaint, and a groin strain rules out defender Danny Warner.

Andy Watson will also be missing from the heart of the Lilywhites’ defence because of work commitments.

Oldham Evening Chronicle