Alan Mathews on the "deciding factor" that brought him back to a Longford Town odds-on to go down

League of Ireland manager speaks to Off The Ball

Alan Mathews

Alan Mathews ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Alan Mathews' previous spell in charge of Longford Town was something of a golden period for the club.

Between 2002 and 2007 when he held the reins, the Midlands club won two FAI Cups and one League Cup, while he won SWAI Personality of the Year in 2003.

But thirteen years on from that latter award, he has returned and is trying to stage a rescue mission to keep the town in the Premier Division.

The 2016 season has seen Longford languishing bottom of the table and looking odds-on to go down.

"For me, having been to a couple of clubs since I've left Longford, there have been some good days and some bad days. I've been at some clubs where they've been run well and [others] where they weren't run as well as you might think they should be. I'm very satisfied to go back to the people that are actually running the football club. That was the real deciding factor for me," Mathews told Off The Ball, adding that the structure remains strong.

He also feels the training facilities are "excellent" in comparison to a decade ago.

"The infrastructure is there and it's well managed," he said, before discussing why the club is struggling this season on the pitch - they were top half last season - in spite of how well run things are behind the scenes.

"Things changed, personnel changed and the dynamic of the group probably changed as well. And when you don't get a couple of quick wins and consistency, it can drain confidence. That's obviously what happened," said Mathews.