Bit of Red can be top dogs again: Owen Heary
New boss and new players can revive Sligo
AS THE first Dubliner in over a decade to manage Sligo Rovers, Owen Heary knows he's still something of an outsider.
His club are also being seen as outsiders in the 2015 season which kicks off next weekend. But having finished fifth last year, a worrying 30 points behind champions Dundalk, there is renewed hope that Heary and the rest of the arrivals from Dublin can make Sligo become contenders again and at least push for honours and Europe.
Heary has set up his own base in Sligo and, having spent 20 years with just three clubs in Dublin, is adjusting to life as a blow-in. "You hear it all the time, about being from Dublin, but this is a great place to be and people just want to talk to you all the time," Heary says.
"I'm not really bothered by what people outside of the place think. It's a club that has the same ambitions as I have. I know what I want to achieve and they know what I want to do at this club.
"I have my own goals and I hope that rubs off on the people here at the club and in the squad. I wanted to be up there challenging for the league every year I was a player and it's the same now that I am a manager. The players are hungry and they want medals. Hopefully we can achieve that." added Heary.
"We want to get to Europe and into the top four, if we are there or thereabouts near the end of the season, who knows."
Champions as recently as 2012, Sligo have fallen back in recent seasons and were way off the pace in a push for Europe last term. "Sometimes you can have a stale group and I think that's what happened here last year, where the team didn't perform as well as they could have and they had gone stale as a group. We have more of a purpose about us now," Heary says, hopeful that imports Sander Puri (Estonia) and Morten Olsen (Denmark) will prosper.
"Sander has played at senior international level so clearly he has something. Morten has been at some big clubs, he trained with people like Drogba at Chelsea so he is capable of a lot more, the two lads have ability and quality," added Heary.