Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton has backed former England defender Sol Campbell to be a success at Macclesfield.
Hughton has long campaigned for more black and minority ethnic (BAME) coaches and was delighted to see Campbell appointed as manager of the Silkmen this week.
Campbell, who won 73 caps for England, took charge of Macclesfield this week and Hughton believes the 44-year-old will be ready for the challenge ahead, with Macclesfield bottom of League Two.
Hughton said: "As somebody that has campaigned and pushed and seen developments and spoken about initiatives from the FA, firstly I’m delighted to see another black manager going into a very difficult job.
"I'm very happy for Sol, but it is a very tough job so it is not one where he has walked in and everything is there in place and there is a team doing well. So there will be challenges that go with that. You can’t accuse Sol of not taking the harder route and credit to him and Macclesfield and I really hope he’s a success there."
Hughton coached Campbell at Tottenham and Newcastle and added: "I’ve spoken to Sol and I know him well, and spent many years with him at Tottenham and took him in as a player at Newcastle.
"I have spoken to him quite often over a period of time. He has made everybody aware of the route that he wants to go down. It has possibly taken longer than he would have liked.
"I don’t think you can talk that way and want what he has wanted and not be ready for it. So I’m quite sure he will be ready for this job, he will know the challenges that lay ahead and the difficulty of the job, I imagine he has bundles of enthusiasm going into that role and knows exactly what he is taking on.
"Certainly [he will bring] leadership. Everyone leads in different ways but he was a good talker on the pitch and has a wonderful presence about him but he is very serious about his football.
"It’s a big challenge for him and I hope he does well."
With Campbell beginning his managerial career lower down the football pyramid, Hughton added there are still challenges ahead for black and ethnic managers.
He said: "I still see that as a challenge and we can look at particular individuals and I might know lots of the circumstances around that individual or not.
"But I would speak from a broader point of view, the general rather than the individual, and there are still challenges ahead.
"At this stage of our game the fact that there are not more black and ethnic managers at higher levels is the biggest challenge that black coaches have.
"On lots of occasions I have spoken about the reasons why that is the case but the facts are there and it goes back for quite some time.
"Perceptions of black coaches going into management or being management material have needed to change. Whether that is the case with Sol Campbell is an individual one."
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