The former Peterborough manager takes charge of his first league game tonight
Sligo Rovers have been one of the most impressive teams in the League of Ireland in recent years, but they suffered a year to forget in 2015.
From winning the League in 2012, Rovers only assured themselves of survival on the penultimate day of last season after a win against St. Patrick’s Athletic in Inchicore.
The Bit o’ Red has seen too many managers come and go in 2014 and 2015, but in new boss Dave Robertson, the club has a manager who they think can bring back the glory days to the north-west.
The squad has seen a total overhaul with only seven on last year’s team sticking around for the new season. Robertson has made 12 signings ahead of the start of the league, with only Micheal Schlingermann, Chris Lyons and Mick Leahy joining from League of Ireland clubs.
Robertson began his managerial career at Peterborough United. Picture by: Mike Egerton / EMPICS Sport
Speaking at the SSE Airtricity League launch, Robertson says that despite coming into the league as a new manager, he knows there is “a good standard” from doing his research before taking the job. The former Peterborough manager is good friends with Rovers’ league-winning manager Ian Baraclough, who advised the 42-year-old on taking the job.
Rovers fans have been used to relatively settled sides in recent years, but with an influx of new players, Robertson has said he is hoping the fans will see two things each week. “We will give them 100% of everything we got. Secondly, the way that I have tried to blend the players, I am hoping that will give us some more quality within the league”.
Robertson has used his contacts in England wisely ahead of the start of the season, signing West Ham’s Jaanai Gordan and Notts County’s Jordan Richards on loan deals until the summer. He hopes to take advantage of contacts in the Football League throughout his tenure in Sligo too: “Attracting players to the West of Ireland can be tough at first. Once they have come over however, they recognise the level of professionalism at the club and the quality of the facilities”.
“It’s a rebuilding job” at The Showgrounds according to Robertson after the turmoil the club has faced in recent years. The fans can see if the job starts with a solid foundation this evening, as Shamrock Rovers travel west for the opening game of the season.