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Thursday 16 August 2018

Sligo lads 'so impressed by Baraclough'

THERE'S been more than a bit of chaos for the Bit O'Red but Sligo Rovers defender Jason McGuinness believes new manager Ian Baraclough (pictured) can put aside the unsettled nature of his arrival at the Showgrounds and bring more success to the club.

A former manager of Scunthorpe United, Baraclough's head is spinning at the events of the last week: appointed Sligo manager last Monday, first training session on Thursday, his first match -- a dramatic 1-1 draw away to Shelbourne -- on Friday, and then his home debut, against Glentoran in the Setanta Sports Cup tonight.

"We knew about Ian as he's managed at a high level, in the Championship in England, and we have been really impressed by him," said McGuinness.

"His first training session was really good, it was just what we needed after a tough few weeks so the players are buzzing at the fact that we have got such a talented manager in.

"The new manager is a different character to Paul Cook, he has his own way and he will put his own stamp on things.

"It's only been a few days but I am delighted to be working with him. He's very open and the lads know they can approach him about anything.

"He has the potential to be very good at this club and help us win some more trophies. The whole pre-season was disruptive but players are professional about it. We can't let the off-field stuff affect us, we just have to keep our fitness levels up and make sure we are ready for the games no matter what. We are paid to do a job, it doesn't matter who the manager is."

The unsettled nature of Sligo's pre-season was evident in the opening stages of Friday's game away to Shels as Rovers went a goal down to a poorly-defended free kick in the first half and only managed to draw level with the last kick (well header, really) of the game, three minutes into injury time from McGuinness.

Baraclough said he was happy with Sligo's second-half display against Shels but had little time to work with them in detail as tonight's game came around so quickly.

"There is a game there, so let's go and try to win it. I'll probably learn more about players by watching them playing games, for sure," says Baraclough. "That's no problem. We recovered well and we'll be firing again for tonight."

Meanwhile, McGuinness says that Rovers are serious about winning the Setanta Cup this season despite the distractions of a league title push and a Europa League campaign.

"I was lucky enough to win the Setanta with Bohemians and it was a great feeling.

"It's a nice honour to be all-Ireland champions so we're hoping to do the same with Sligo," he said.

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