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'Budgets don't win football matches' - Pat Fenlon on Shamrock Rovers job

The former Shels, Derry and Bohs manager has taken the hot seat in Tallaght.

Pat Fenlon has signed a three and a half year deal with his new club.
Pat Fenlon has signed a three and a half year deal with his new club.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

AFTER PUTTING PEN to paper on a three and a half year deal with Shamrock Rovers, Pat Fenlon has made it clear that, while he is familiar with the club’s budget, it wouldn’t impact on his new side’s performances on the field.

The 45-year old, who has previously had spells in charge of Shelbourne, Derry City and Bohemians in the Airtricity League, was officially unveiled as Rovers’ new manager today following nine months out of management.

However, while he has had offers from Ireland following his resignation from Hibernian last November, he couldn’t resist Rovers.

“I’m delighted to be here, it’s taken a while but it’s probably one of the few clubs I’d come back to Ireland to manage and I’m very proud to be here today.

“I’ve great history with the club, through my family, so I’m very proud and humbled to be working with the club.”

As for the job itself, Fenlon doesn’t believe he’s been left with too difficult a task.

“It’s interesting you know, they’ve struggled as such but they’re in the league cup final, still in the FAI cup and, up to a few weeks ago, were just six points behind the league leaders.

“That probably shows you the size of the club and the expectations here so it’s a good time to come in.”

His own ambition is to bring European football back to Tallaght stadium.

We’re in a good position, we obviously need a target to try and get to Europe.

“We haven’t been in Europe in a couple of seasons, that’s important from every aspect of the club; the supporters, financially, everything, but that’s our target, to win as many games as possible and see what happens.”

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The new boss was also quick to dismiss suggestions the Shamrock Rovers budget would hamper his efforts to achieve that success.

“I’m here as the manager of the club, I know what the budget is so obviously think I can work with it.

“It’s about winning football matches, budgets don’t win them, you’ve got to make sure you go on the park and get a team that you think is capable of doing that with the resources you have and I firmly believe the resources we have here are good enough to win trophies.”

He does admit, however, his new team have been struggling to score goals, especially at home.

“I don’t want to give away too many weaknesses,” he jokes, “but we’ve got to work on things there’s no doubt about that.

“I think everybody looks at Rovers’ away record and thinks it’s fantastic up to the Limerick game and they’ve scored as many goals as Dundalk on the road but haven’t scored enough at home so that’s something we’ve got to address and go and win more games at home than we probably have.”

That begins with getting his strikers firing again.

“We’ve got to try get some confidence into them, we have to make sure they have a belief.

“They’ve probably gone through a hard time over the last number of months but that happens with strikers. I’m sure they’ve been through it in their careers before.

“We’ve just got to give them belief they can score goals.”

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