Grass not Green-er for a prized Mellon

Micky Mellon
Micky Mellon
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Former Fleetwood Town manager Micky Mellon has turned down overtures to become boss at Skrill Conference side Forest Green Rovers and has decided to stay with Championship club Barnsley.

Ambitious Forest Green had pinpointed Mellon as the man they wanted to replace Dave Hockaday, having seen the job he did in aiding Fleetwood through the divisions and into the Football League.

So keen were Forest Green that they approached Barnsley twice, the latest as recently as on Tuesday, but Mellon is staying at Oakwell, where he is first-team coach and is working in tandem with manager David Flitcroft.

Mellon, who lost his job at Highbury last December in the wake of an FA Cup defeat against Aldershot but is still based in Blackpool, said: “Barnsley had two approaches but the club turned them down twice because they want to keep me.

“So I am happy to stay at Barnsley as long as they want me because the Championship is where I want to be.

“I am delighted that there are people who think I can do a job and saw what I achieved at Fleetwood. I love what I am doing at Barnsley, playing big clubs with ‘monster’ budgets.”

Mellon is on a rolling contract at Barnsley and makes the daily commute to South Yorkshire by club car, the only aspect of the job that is in any way unappealing.

He linked up with Flitcroft last season and a late rally by the Tykes saw them stave off the spectre of relegation.

They are in the bottom three going into to tomorrow night’s televised clash at Ipswich Town, but spirits have risen lately with a win over Middlesbrough and a derby draw with Sheffield Wednesday.

Mellon said: “Obviously, I am not going to say we won’t get out of trouble. We have had a tough start to the season but we have played all bar Burnley in the top 10 so far.

“And there are teams who are in mid-table in the Championship, who will find themselves in real trouble

“There is Premier League set-up at the Barnsley ground and the training ground is Premier League class too.

“We also have some outstanding players in people like Paddy McCourt, Chris O’Grady and Martin Cranie, while we have a player in Jack Butland who could be going to Brazil next year as one of the England goalkeepers at the World Cup. We also have Jean-Yves M’voto, who people may remember from his time at Oldham, but he has made the step-up to the Championship from League One.

Mellon says he has formed a good working triumvirate made up of himself, manager Flitcroft and Martin Scott, who once had a spell in charge at Hartlepool.

He added: “It is a fantastic league in which to be coaching, and I am just finishing my FIFA A-licence, which I have been doing with (Blackpool manager) Paul Ince and we have become good friends.”

n UEFA has imposed a partial stadium closure on CSKA Moscow following the racist behaviour of their fans.

The Russian club were charged after apparent monkey noises were aimed at Manchester City’s Yaya Toure during last week’s Champions League game at the Arena Khimki.

The sanction will apply to CSKA’s next home match in the competition, against Bayern Munich on November 27.

n Wigan Athletic have signed Aston Villa wing-back Marc Albrighton on loan. The 23-year-old has featured just once for Villa this season.