It has been several weeks since we last spoke to outgoing Liversedge manager Jonathan Rimmington but last night we caught up him and he spoke openly and honestly (as always) about his recent health issues and Sedge’s inconsistent form, writes Craig Kendall and transcribed by Ellie Dalglish.
It’s not been the greatest season so far by your standards. You received a stadium ban for eight games. Then you’ve not been that well recently. Can you give us a rundown of what’s happened?
“About four weeks ago I went into hospital for a few days for a blood clot or something… I don’t know. I didn’t feel very well – I know that! I hadn’t felt well for some time. I said to Daz, Dave and Simon, ‘You lot crack on at the moment,’ because I’ve not been in the right frame of mind really. I had a lot going on at home with my health and a lot of pressure from other things.
“I’ve still got on with the games but I’ve sometimes been a little confused. I’m going to see a neurologist now because they think there’s something wrong with my brain. Everybody tells me ‘You haven’t got a brain!’ Hopefully we can get to the bottom of it. The sooner the better really because I went to the doctor’s yesterday and I had an hour! It’s a bloody nightmare! You think you’re going there and suddenly they send you for some more tests and things like that.
“It’s been a strange season. I don’t think the two months of me banned helped the team out at all, then I’ve had all sort going on. It’s been going on for more than the last few weeks actually. I’ve known but, typical man, we don’t really go to the doctors!
It’s okay not to be okay.
“I’m a little bit like that. I’ve had everybody pushing me to go and my daughter’s been on! ‘Get to the doctors!’
“To be honest, when I went to the hospital, I drove there and walked in myself so I must have felt poorly. For me to go to the hospital… trust me! I don’t feel very well and for me to go there and have them inject me loads of times, take loads of blood and so on.
“It’s not good off the pitch. The results haven’t been great on the pitch but your health is obviously more important than what happens on the pitch.
It’s frustrating. We’ve signed so many players and people get injured. We’ve had lads missing for one reason or another. Work comes first, which I understand. It never was for me; I’d have walked over glass to play. I still would walk over glass to go play football if I could!
“There have been a lot of things behind the scenes that I’m not too happy about but, you know, we are where we are! We thought we were going to be up in the top six or seven this year and I’ve had a bit of a go but the plans of mice and men! We will get right hopefully and get things back on an even keel. We’re doing that slowly.
“I think we went down the youngster route again when I’ve not been there. It’s alright playing young ‘uns but you can’t play all young ‘uns! You just get rollercoasted and battered. We’ve signed a couple of oldies who are good players and have been great players so hopefully they can put us back in some sort of good form.
I see you’ve signed Mark Wilson.
“Not just a footballer but what a person! We get on really well and we’re sort of similar people. He’s still hungry to play football, even at the grade now. He’s still 21 in his mind and I don’t mind that! He’s so positive. I just think he’s such a great person to have around the club.
“I felt when I was poorly we needed other people in there who are like me and that’s one of the reasons we bought him. Hopefully he can start playing and do what he’s good at. He can play! He came to training last week and he was as good as anybody else there. Unbelievable player!
“He must be in his mid-forties! He’s a real legend in the lower echelons of non-league football.
He’s a legend to me! I love him; he’s great! He’s just so positive all the time and the young ‘uns need someone like that. To see what he’s done. To see what he’s done throughout his life to play. He drives all the way from Barnsley to train at Huddersfield Town training ground. He’s there first for the game! He got there at a quarter to one on Saturday!
“I’ve not just signed him, I’ve signed Mick Jordan as well. His first goal against us for Albion Sports… I was sitting in the stands and I just thought wow! I think these lads will teach the younger ones stuff. Sometimes they run with the ball too much, the young ones, and get caught on the ball. They don’t tackle enough or they get themselves into all sorts of predicaments. Hopefully we’ve got a good blend now.
“I was talking to Mark and asked, ‘What do you think of our squad?’ He said, ‘Wow! You’ve got some talented lads. You just need to build them into a team again.’ So hopefully, over the next few weeks, we can get a bit of training done and get everybody there.
“We’ve got a few coming back from injury: Adimer Neves, Terry Gadville and Joe Walton. We’ve got three massive players for me there. We need a couple more players but it’s getting the right people in now. Never mind players, it’s the people.
This Saturday you’re at home against Goole. Would you see it as a ‘must win’ game?
“Not for us, no! I think it might be a ‘must win’ for them. I think they’re ten points behind us, aren’t they?
“How many games have we had? I think we’re about half way through. Seven points they’ve got. Are they going to get five or six wins out of another twenty games? They haven’t done it yet! They’ve got to start winning. I think if we win two or three more we won’t be far away from being safe then we can start concentrating on what we have to do next season. Let’s get this season done.
“I’m just disappointed really because I thought we’d signed some good players and things happen. We need to re-address everything, I think. The way we’ve done things this year, we need to be at it from the start of the season and have our squad together early.
“Pontefract did it. They knew what they were doing last year! They had their squad together by the end of May – probably by the end of the season – and started creating early. They’d got their shape and they trained well organised because they knew what they were all going to do.
“We felt we were doing that but people don’t turn up so we’re going to have to change the ethos of the club and of the players. That’s basically what we’ll have to do. Once you’ve got your shape and everything done in preseason it becomes easy. You can just add certain players into certain areas. That’s where we’ve let ourselves down.
This time last season, after 18 games, you had 25 points. You’re not a mile off! You started so well last season, though, didn’t you?
“We just feel as though we’ve not done anything right, you know? There are certain games where we’ve let ourselves down. I go back to a game two years ago when we went to Bridlington Town and we were 2-1 down with two men sent off and, after half time, we just sat in and defended. We lost 2-1. We haven’t done that this year. Even at 3-0 down on Saturday… I thought we were a bit unlucky to be 3-0 down in the first half but sometimes you’ve got to think: 75 minutes. Are we going to score three goals? Let’s not get beaten 6-0. Let’s not go to Brd and get beaten by loads of goals! Sit in and defend, put bodies on the line!
“I don’t know! Maybe I’m a bit old-school and I don’t like conceding goals but we’ve just done it three times this year. It’s unbelievable!
You don’t like conceding goals but you’ve conceded the most goals in the Northern Counties?
“I wasn’t at the Frickley game. I wasn’t at the Brid game. I was there on Saturday but I wasn’t really! I just don’t like conceding. Mate, we’ve got to change! Maybe it’s the players or us as managers, I don’t know.
“We’ve just got to say, ‘Come on! Let’s keep ourselves a little bit tight!’ It’s amazing. I’ve never seen games like we’ve been in this year. Unbelievable!
“We drove on against Handsworth with a rearguard action, with Joe Walton playing centre half – we were brilliant! Harrogate weren’t playing lightweight football; they had a team out!
“I thought we did really well that night against Staveley. Staveley are a good team! If you come out and attack Staveley they’ll cut you open as well! We decided that we’d sit in and, yes, we conceded two goals but we scored two goals on the break.
I think we’ve been too flamboyant sometimes. We could have scored goals with Joe Walton and Reece; we are attackers.
“I’ve got to thank our new goalie. I think he’s going to be a top keeper, the new lad we’ve got. He’s going to be one of the best goalies in our league once he’s settled and had a few games. I think he’ll do well.”
We wish Jonathan all the best getting back to good health.