CRAM every conceivable controversy you could create and condense it into little more than a fortnight – and you would have the bewildering introduction to life as a football manager for North Yorkshire’s Craig Short.

A contentious sacking, a riot and pitch invasion by angry fans, a game controversially called off, are all issues that have had to be dealt with by the Bridlington-born defensive sentinel.

Throw into that combustible mix scrambling to get adequate security to safeguard your players, not always getting paid on time and even racism, Short’s experience at trying to harness a team to get results at Ferencvaros, one of Hungary’s historically stellar clubs, has been full-on.

But the 41-year-old Short, who carved out a near two-decade career as a player from humble origins at Scarborough to Premier League grit at Derby County, Everton and Blackburn Rovers, wants more.

Rather than be fazed by his drama-congested three weeks in charge in succession to sacked manager Bobby Davison, the former Leeds United striker, the redoubtable Short is desperate to stay in arguably the hottest of Hungarian hot-seats.

And when you consider this is a man, who, on hanging up his boots, sailed the Atlantic Ocean in a fatal nautical race, then steering a football club, even one with arguably the most fixated following in Budapest, to success is unlikely to over-worry him.

Now back in the professional game, Short is determined to hang on to the ultra-demanding Ferencvaros job in a bid to further his claims to eventually return to England to take up a managerial position.

Said the 41-year-old Short: “To say it’s been a baptism of fire as caretaker-manager is an understatement.

“We’ve had all kinds of things thrown at us – literally sometimes – but I would love to stay in charge, because my ultimate goal is to be a manager in England. I want to manage a club back home.”

Short journeyed out to Hungary just under a year ago at the behest of Kevin McCabe, the chairman of Sheffield United, who took over Ferencvaros 21 months ago.

Originally he was assistant to Davison, who, in the summer, had the club in the palm of his hands after leading the Budapest-based outfit back to the Hungarian premier division.

However, the fans turned on Davison when top-flight results did not go their way. So bad did the relationship deteriorate that Short recalled how a clutch of angry fans attempted to punch holes in the dug-out to get to the manager.

“The players were also threatened and we had to get extra security at the training ground,” said Short.

But the game after Davison was sacked, and Short placed in caretaker-command, the wrath exploded. Trailing 3-0 at home to Diosgyori, the Ferencvaros fans emptied from the stadium after their team reduced the deficit with a goal.

The exodus proved only a diversion to them coming back and invading the pitch during which riot police intervened. Flares were thrown at the players and eventually the game was abandoned as a defeat.

Recalled Short: “It was extreme and scary for a lot of the players, especially those we have who are not Hungarian.

“The fans here are so passionate about the team. You have to remember that Ferencvaros are like the Man U of the English game. They have a lot of history and for them to be struggling does not go down well.”

Reminiscent of his playing career, which spanned more than 19 years, commanded more than £7 million in transfer fees and comprised more than 600 league and cup appearances, Short rolled up his sleeves to get on with the task of trying to transform the club’s ailing fortunes.

The next game, albeit played behind closed doors after the previous riot, yielded a 1-0 win, with a similar result garnered in his third match in charge against fourth-placed Papa FC.

Ferencvaros secured a 1-1 draw against Honved in the final outing before the Hungarian season undertook its mid-winter break.

Now back at home in Harrogate, after seeing his parents first in Pickering, Short is preparing for a meeting with Sheffield United chairman McCabe about the prospects of going back in January to resume his first experience of club management.

Said Short, who has passed his UEFA ‘B’ exams: “After what’s been thrown at me over the last month or so, I feel I can handle anything, even if there are some people who think I lack experience.

“Since the abandoned game, we’ve got seven points out of nine, we’re unbeaten and have kept two clean sheets, so I feel with a couple of new players I could continue to turn it round.”

For all the turmoil Short has nothing but praise for the Hungarian people and the capital Budapest.

“It’s a great country, the people are fantastic, the city is a great place to live and they love their football so much. It’s a true hotbed.”

But while he loves the fervour of the Hungarians, Short is desperate to manage in England now that he has returned to football after initially opening a sailing school in Lake Windermere after he finished playing.

That nautical flirtation included the aforementioned 3,000-mile race across the Atlantic Ocean in which he was on board a yacht as part of the crew.

“It was an amazing experience,” he said. “It took you right out of your comfort zone, but it was fantastic to be out there and see whales, flying fish and dolphins. We even caught a marlin.”

However, just four days from the Caribbean, Short and the rest of the 220 or so craft were caught up in tropical storm Olga in which a crew member from another boat perished.

“It only lasted about an hour, but I can honestly say that was scary.”

So club management, then? A breeze in Budapest, perhaps would be the Short reply.