DELIGHTED Redditch United boss Paul Smith says keeping the club in the Southern League Central this season ranks as his biggest achievement in management.

Reds were sitting in the relegation zone and facing a difficult campaign when he arrived in September following the departure of previous manager Paul Smith.

However, last weekend saw United secure survival with three games to spare despite a 1-0 loss at St Ives.

Smith had previously led a revival at Bromsgrove Sporting before his time at the Trico.

After spells at Alvechurch and Studley, Smith joined The Rouslers in 2014 and led the club to a second-place finish in Midland League Division One.

Another runners-up place and two cup final appearances awaited Smith and his players the following season before ending the next league campaign unbeaten and becoming champions.

That season, Sporting also reached the semi-final of the FA Vase before losing to eventual runners-up Cleethorpes Town.

He departed the club in March 2018, with the team sitting top of the Midland League Premier Division with 15 games to go.

Despite those times at the Victoria Ground, Smith thinks the size of the task as Redditch makes this recent achievement even more noteworthy.

He said: "It has to be right up there with anything I have achieved before, especially when you consider the position we were in and the squad we had.

"We were six points adrift and the squad just wasn't good enough for the level.

"It was a huge, huge task but it's been achieved by everyone working their socks off for each other. The players and management team can take great credit for what they have done.

"At Bromsgrove Sporting everything was set-up for success with the crowds they get and the budget available for the level they were at but it was totally different here.

"To get a team that has been able to win as many games as they have has been phenomenal.

"It's vitally important that this club comes together now. It's a really good football club and it just needs the fans and the club to all pull in the same direction.

"You need that to succeed moving forwards and that has to happen now, regardless of if I'm here next season or not."

On his future at the Trico, he added: "I was just given the job to keep the club up this season and I've achieved that. At some stage I'll sit down with the club and discuss it.

"We have a few games still to go and we'll look to enjoy them now because the players have earned the right to go and express themselves. Even if the club had come to me sooner to discuss it I'd have told them we need to wait until the season is over. My task was to keep the club up and I've just been fully focused on that."

Reds will now welcome Hitchin this Saturday before going to already relegated Halesowen Town on Bank Holiday Monday.