Mick Cooke backs Roddy Collins to push Athlone Town up the table

Ex-Bohs manager is expected to be confirmed as new manager on Friday

Mick Cooke backs Roddy Collins to push Athlone Town up the table

Manager Roddy Collins ©INPHO/James Crombie

Former Drogheda United manager Mick Cooke has backed Roddy Collins to make a positive impact at Athlone Town in their bid to climb the First Division table.

The ex-Bohemians, Carlisle United and Waterford United boss is was expected to be confirmed as new permanent manager at Athlone, who he previously managed in 2013 to promotion from that second tier division, on Friday. However, the club confirmed the appointment on Thursday evening.

On the pitch, the club are third from bottom in the eigth team Irish First Division and off it, they are the subject of an FAI investigation into "irregular betting patterns" around some of the First Division club's fixtures so far this season. 

Mick, who managed Athlone in 2014 when they were in the Premier Division, told Newstalk.com that he expects the experienced Collins to turn their fortunes around when it comes to performances.

"Roddy's enthusiasm is very infectious and he was there before," said Mick.

"If anybody can turn it around, I think Roddy can but he is an infectious man and he has shown that at every club he's been at and certainly if he's given the right help, he's the man to get Athlone out of trouble [in the First Division table].

"Athlone are third from bottom but there is no pressure on Roddy coming in. All he has to do is finish respectably this season and get them up to midtable or even higher and then build on that. He's done it before there and I'm sure the supporters will respect him for what he is. I think Roddy will turn them around and he is the man to do the job."