New Chesterfield coach Mark Crossley sums up his Notts County rollercoaster ride

Working under four managers in three years didn’t make life easy for Mark Crossley at Notts County.

Thursday, 4th July 2019, 11:11 am
Mark Crossley spent three years at Meadow Lane (Pic: Getty)

The goalkeeping coach, who was confirmed as a part-time member of Chesterfield’s staff earlier this week, went there in 2016 as assistant manager under John Sheridan.

But he finished his stint at Meadow Lane with a lot less responsibility, after a rollercoaster ride.

Sheridan led the club from May 2016 to 2rd January 2017, with Kevin Nolan arriving shortly after and guiding the Magpies to 16th in League Two.

The 2017/18 season was more successful, but ultimately ended in heartache, thanks to a play-off semi-final defeat by Coventry.

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Big things were expected last season but owner Alan Hardy sacked Nolan after a disastrous start, replacing him with Harry Kewell.

The Australian was gone by mid November, Neil Ardley taking his place.

Despite starting the previous campaign as promotion hopefuls, Notts finished 23rd and suffered relegation to the National League, while off-field financial issues have plunged them into crisis. They're due in the High Court this month over an unpaid HMRC bill, although owner Alan Hardy insists a takeover will be completed before then.

It hard to imagine the past three years as anything other than a desperately unhappy time for Notts fans, players and staff.

What Crossley can say, at least, is that the trio of managers who followed Sheridan through the door were happy for the former Nottingham Forest keeper to remain at the club, instead of replacing him with their own man.

“I had four managers in three years that I worked under and all of them kept me,” he said.

“I enjoyed working with John but he left at Christmas time.

“When Kevin Nolan came in, I didn’t know him but we instantly worked well together and that was enjoyable.”

Crossley was a key part of Nolan's staff, but wasn't afforded the same prominence or input by his successors.

"Harry Kewell came in. It was okay with Harry but he didn’t really want too much involvement, whereas John and Kevin wanted my involvement, used my experience, my knowledge of players in the lower leagues," said Crossley.

"Neil Ardley came in, I knew him but I thought it was an impossible task for Neil really.

"To work under four managers in three years isn’t the easiest thing in the world, they all want different things from you.

"I basically just ended up working with the keepers and not really having a lot of input in the end, but I saw out my contract, I can hold my head high about that."

When offered the chance to return to Chesterfield under Sheridan, with whom he won League Two in a previous Spireites spell, Crossley jumped at it.

He wants another taste of success this time round.

"He’s a good manager, a top manager with a brilliant CV.

"We’ve won League Two together and won the JPT together, had some success and hopefully that will come back."

His new role at the Proact is a part-time one, which will allow him to continue working on the after-dinner speaking circuit.

He's confident the two jobs can sit comfortably alongside one another.

"My main focus is to work with John, even though it is a part-time role.

"I'll be working on matchdays, obviously the lead up to matchdays and it suits everybody.

"I do enjoy the after dinner speaking as well but there's no reason why the two roles can't mix.

"We've spoken about that, it won't be a problem at all."