Joe Sweeney was one game from the sack earlier this season – now he’s gearing up for the biggest game of his managerial career with an FA Vase quarter-final clash away at Corinthian to come on Saturday.
The Leighton Town joint-boss revealed his and Paul Copson’s jobs were on the line when their side took on Hadleigh United in the Vase first round in October.
“We had an absolute shocker of a start to the season,” Sweeney told The Non-League Paper this week.
“We lost seven out of nine and I had heard I was one game from the sack. There’d been a meeting at the chairman’s house about who they could get in to replace me and all this sort of stuff.
— Leighton Town FC (@LeightonTownFC) February 26, 2020
“You know what it’s like when there’s a job locally that isn’t going well, there was four managers that weren’t in a job all sitting in the stands! We were 1-0 down at half-time but we turned it around and won 2-1.
“We’ve gone from that to where we are now. If we win our games in hand in the league we’ll be very close to second, we’re in the semi-final of two domestic cup competitions and the quarter-finals of the Vase.”
Sweeney, 46, takes his team to Corinthian on Saturday, dreaming of further progress having pulled back from 3-1 down to edge past Eynesbury Rovers in a fourth round thriller.
“We are not doing it for money but for the love of the game,” Sweeney added. “One thing that’s come out of our run is exactly that, we’re in the game for the love of it and the dream.
“Leighton an old, historic club and people are really bothered about what happens, that’s why I came here. It’s very demanding because people want to talk to you, ‘why are you playing him? What happened the other night?’ Everywhere you go people want to talk to you about it but that drives you on.”
Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper on Sunday for the latest news and action from across Non-League over the last seven days, including exclusive pictures and reports from all four Buildbase FA Vase quarter-finals.
As well as exclusive match reports and pictures from all of Saturday’s fixtures in the Vanarama National League, the BetVictor-Sponsored Isthmian League, Southern League and Northern Premier League, The Non-League Paper’s live coverage extends all the way to Steps 5 and 6.
Images courtesy of @LeightonTownFC/Twitter