My God, I had no idea you had a story this year. This is gonna be a hell of a ride!
"My tenure as manager of Oxford City Football Club had begun. We had it all to do on the pitch and off it. No money and no prospects. The future looked bleak. But we were determined to make the most of it and fight until the bitter end. We will not fail."
"After a testing pre-season we were ready to push on and make the most of our chances in the National League South. We had a very busy schedule to begin the campaign and we were determined to get as many points on the board as possible. Despite the club's damning financial situation, we had a quiet confidence that we could upset the trend, somewhat, and we were looking to make our mark."
"A strong start to the season had propelled us to the top of the National League South standings. Our goal scoring prowess had made us a team feared by the others in our division and we had marched in to the First Round of the FA Cup following a string of impressive qualifying round results. It was important for us to keep up the momentum and to not drop off."
"(The players have been) brilliant. I don't think any spectator following our games can say a bad word about the commitment our lads have shown on the pitch or of their attitude off it. They've been thoroughly professional in every facet off their game.
We've a very young bunch of lads here. There's no player over the age of thirty here, which is actually quite surprising for a football club. That doesn't mean these players aren't experienced though. They've played in some very big games already this season and learned lessons that most players would require a few hundred games to learn. They've adapted to the new challenges very well.
We have a lot to thank our fans for. The atmosphere for the replay against Walsall was something else, it was incredible! They've shown us their loyalty over the years and their spirit has certainly made the club what it is. We're proud of our supporters and we want to give them back some memories to cherish.
Swindon Town won't know what will hit them when they arrive here. We took Walsall back here to Court Place Farm and rocked them, and we'll do the same to Swindon. They may want the win but we'll show that we want it more. The FA Cup means everything to us. We want to progress."
Oxford City: King (7); Ruddick (6), McGowan (6), Upton (7), Jefford (6); Freiter (6), Jones (7), Ashby (7); Iyamu (7), McEachran (6), Tshimanga (7)
Subs Used: Owens (6), Akinjogbin (6)
Swindon Town: McCormick (6); Woolfenden (6), Nelson (7), Conroy (6), Arnold (8); Diagouraga (6), Alzate (6), Doughty (6); McGlashan (6), Young (6), Brewster (6)
Subs Used: Robertson (6), Borg (6), Dunne (6)
Man of the Match: Nick Arnold (8)
Ryan Ferguson (Oxford City Manager):
"I'm delighted, it is a fantastic result for us. The players have put in an incredible amount of work on the training ground and have come in for extra sessions to prepare for this fixture. They were up for this game and it showed in the early stages through their pressing and their willingness to win the ball back as quick as possible.
The fans played a big part today. I haven't been told an official figure yet but I believe there 2,000 attending today. The atmosphere they generated was phenomenal and I believe I heard a rendition or two of the 'Thunder Clap' as the game went on. They made 2,000 sound like 200,000 and their support helped drive us on for the win. We are very grateful for their support.
Swindon did well, they deserve a lot of credit. We knew they would be a significant threat from set-pieces and we prepared for this but they still scored two very good goals. Hats off to them, they deserve a lot of praise for how they conducted themselves on the pitch today.
It was nice to manage against Rhian (Brewster) for a change but I'd prefer it if he were on my team! He's a very talented young man with a bright future ahead of him. I was at Liverpool when he did the ligaments in his ankle but his attitude in rehab was exemplary. He came in with great determination every day to overcome what may be the biggest challenge of his career. I hope I get the opportunity to work with him again some day or, at the very least, compete against him some more!"
Richard Shaw (Swindon Town Manager):
"It was a tough game for us but we expected nothing less. They (Oxford City) are a very good team on a brilliant run of form and our lads were a bit shook going into this game. The City fans came in their numbers and represented their club well and made it a very difficult for us. City deserved the win, they played very well and worked very hard.
It was a game we were probably expected to win, being two divisions above them. We do need to go back to the drawing board and analyse where things went wrong for us here. We had more possession and had more shots on goal but those stats don't matter if you still lose the game. We have a few things to fix before our next game.
Despite the result, I enjoyed it (first senior competitive fixture as manager). The thrill of being in the dugout is enormous and I am proud to represent the BAME managers community here too. I am grateful to Swindon Town for giving me this opportunity and, even though today was a disappointing one, I hope to bring success to the club."
You are reading "Making a Manager - The Story".