NORTHWICH Vics caretaker boss Andy Preece says he arrived too late to save the club from being relegated from the Blue Square Premier.
Preece, who along with Andy Morrison took over from Steve King in February, has seen performances improve with six points taken from nine games.
But Vics have remained rooted to second-from-bottom in the Conference and will have been relegated if they did not defeat Woking at the Marston’s Arena last night.
Former Crystal Palace player Preece, is already thinking about next season and will be entering into talks with club owner Jim Rushe about taking the manager’s role full time, even if Vics are playing in the Blue Square North.
But Preece believes had he been at Northwich earlier in the season, the team would not be in the perilous position they find themselves in.
“We arrived too late really,” said Preece. “We have had the performances but not the points. Had we had the same squad that Steve King had then I think we would not be in the position we are.
“I have spoken to Jim and he is more than happy with what me and Andy have done so far. I have said that I would like to be here next season and early indications are that he wants that too.
“There is a lot of work to be done.”
Following an investigation by the Mid Cheshire District FA into the recent Mid Cheshire Cup semi-final between Barnton and Lostock Gralam Reserves, both clubs have been found guilty of fielding ineligible players.
Both clubs have been fined and the match will be re-played on Thursday, April 16 at Barnton’s Townfield Lane ground (6.15pm).
Club spokesman James Birdsey said: “Lostock Gralam Football Club would like to make it clear that no written complaint was originally put forward by the club and would like thank the Mid Cheshire District FA for looking into the matter.
“We are embarrassed to have fielded an ineligible player for the reserves in the fixture against Barnton, who had already appeared for the first team in an earlier round of the cup.
“We hope this draws the matter to a close and look forward to the opportunity to play Barnton again.”