CARL Macauley takes Vauxhall Motors to runaway leaders Chester FC this Saturday (3pm) with praise ringing in his ears from the top two managers in the Blue Square Bet North.
Chester boss Neil Young and his Guiseley counterpart Steve Kittrick have both lined up to pay tribute to the Motors manager before this weekend’s hotly anticipated Cheshire derby at the Exacta Stadium.
Kittrick was speaking after his second-placed Guiseley side were beaten 2-0 by Macauley’s men at Rivacre Park last Saturday.
That result led bookmakers Blue Square Bet to declare it will pay out on all bets for Chester to win the championship.
It also led to Young to declaring his admiration for the job that Macauley – who has guided to Motors to mid-table safety – is doing on the tightest of budgets.
Young said: “Vauxhall, budgetwise compared to most teams if not every team in the league, are down there but Carl has got his players playing a brand of football that is excellent and that’s great credit to him.
“The job that Carl is doing goes really understated. He left the club for a short period of time but he’s come back and he’s got them playing so well.
“He’s got his lads playing like he did as a player. He was a fantastic footballer but his aggression and commitment was first class.
“No-one’s going to Vauxhall Motors anymore and thinking they can take the points. They’ll have a job on their hands and no doubt we’ll have a job on our hands when they come to our place on Saturday.”
Chester will be favourites for the clash but the form Motors have shown since Boxing Day will give them hope they could cause an upset.
They have taken 16 points from a possible 27 and their thoroughly deserved victory on Saturday ended Guiseley’s 13-match unbeaten league run.
Chris Noone opening the scoring in the 55th minute, hammering home a stunning long-range half-volley after a corner was only half cleared, before Obi Anoruo killed the contest in the 74th minute when he punished a mistake by goalkeeper Steven Drench.
Kittrick, whose team finished the game with nine men due to injuries sustained after their three substitutes came on, called it the ‘worst performance since I’ve been at the club’.
But he also gave credit where it was due.
The Guiseley boss said: “I think it was all over before we went down to nine men to be honest.
“They’ve done a good job on us and we haven’t played well.
“Fair play to Vauxhall, they didn’t let us play and their keeper has not made a save.”
Motors’ run of eight league matches without defeat ended on Monday when they lost 2-0 at Bradford Park Avenue.
They will attempt to bounce back at Chester this Saturday before hosting FC Halifax Town on Tuesday (7.45pm).