GARY BROWN is in defiant mood after taking on the challenge of being Darlington’s joint-caretaker manager for Saturday’s game with Stockport County.

The Quakers stalwart and team-mate Phil Turnbull will pick the team at Blackwell Meadows after replacing Brian Atkinson and Sean Gregan on a shock day for Darlington.

It emerged Atkinson and Gregan were unable to succeed Martin Gray due to holding positions with the Martin Gray Football Academy, while their former boss is now in charge at York City.

Football Association rules are clear in defining this to be a conflict of interest, so Atkinson and Gregan have stepped down with Brown and Turnbull replacing them.

“The changing room runs itself, we’ve got such a tightknit group in there,” said Brown.

“We won’t have to tell anyone how to do their job, everyone has got their personal pride and when you put that together you’ve seen what we can do.

“There’s no worries at all for me.

“We were looking forward to Greegs and Atky running it. We’ve been dealt this blow, but my blood’s pumping again and I’m determined to do what we can in this situation.

“Me and Phil will embrace it. We’ll get through it together.

“The lads are gutted Greegs and Atky can’t take over, but we’ll get on with it, that’s what we do.”