NEW Swindon Town assistant manager Neil McDonald will keep current boss Phil Brown ‘on his toes’ after the club officially revealed him as the club’s number two yesterday.

The 52-year-old former Blackpool boss was confirmed as Brown’s new assistant yesterday afternoon.

McDonald’s appointment follows the departure of Brian Horton, who served as Phil Brown’s assistant in the 10 games he took charge of at the end of last season.

While Brown admitted Horton’s departure prompted a few nerves regarding him finding a suitable replacement, the 59-year-old was pleased to announce the former Blackpool boss as his number two.

He told the club’s official website: “I was afraid after losing Brian Horton that we wouldn’t get anybody of his stature.

“But we have and Neil is somewhere who has managed, player, coached and assisted at the highest level for a number of years.

“He’s an expert on players, he knows how to spot a player.

“He can certainly coach and is one of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with.

“He keeps me on my toes and it’s almost like a competition now, competing for the best coaching sessions.”

Brown and McDonald are already familiar together having worked with each other at Bolton Wanderers between 2000 and 2005.

McDonald’s exit at Bolton prompted his first crack at full-time management when taking charge of Carlisle United in 2006, where he enjoyed a 37 per cent winning record from 51 games.

The former right-back then joined Swedish team Ostersunds for five games before reviving his career in England at Blackpool in 2005.

His time at Blackpool proved turbulent, though, as the club won only 13 out of the 50 games he was in charge.

McDonald’s final managerial role before joining Town occurred at Limerick, where he won 10 of his 26 games in charge.

But Brown paid tribute to Brain Horton, adding he doesn’t believe for one moment the former Manchester City boss is finished in football.

Brown said: “Brian is a very good friend of mine, and that will never go away.

"He has decided to go down a different path and I know he wants to spend more time with his grandchildren, but I don't think he's finished in football by any stretch of the imagination.

"He has got a lot to offer. Unfortunately it won't be at Swindon but I would like to thank him for his contribution during the ten-game period.

"I wish him every success for the future."