New Glentoran boss Young lays down law
Glentoran manager Scott Young left no one in any doubt yesterday as to what he will bring to the party at the Oval – and his players better beware.
A popular figure to fans, the board of directors and the playing staff, there were suggestions that Young may be a little too close to the inside to give the underperforming Glens stars the kick up the backside they undoubtedly need.
Anyone who was at the press conference for his unveiling yesterday will be left with nothing other than a certain belief that Young can at the very least steer this Glentoran ship back in the right direction.
Young most definitely talks the talk – the word 'passion' was used more than most, he admitted he was hurting by the way things have been going at the club and was in no doubt that he could change things for the better.
And throughout the half hour briefing, two things stood out.
Firstly, he pointed out that the players 'were' his friends, very much in the past tense, and then revealed that if his eight weeks at the club's helm ultimately lead to failure or at the very least in him not being appointed in the role in the long term, he said he would give the game up: “I don't want to be at any other club in Northern Ireland,” he said.
If rumours are to be believed the players were given the roasting of their lives when Young met with them for the first time as boss on Monday night and he admitted that he has had to make some very big decisions.
“In football you deal in facts and the facts don't lie. We have lost eight league games this season and for this football club that is not good enough,” he said. “Publicly I want to thank Alan McDonald because he gave me the opportunity to work at first team level and if he hadn't I wouldn't be here today.
“But the game of football is all about opinions and now I am in charge mine is the only one that counts. This season, in my opinion too many players haven't produced the goods. There are other factors as well which I am not going to go into, but the bottom line is, as a football player you have got to look at yourself in the mirror at the end of the game and ask 'did I do my bit' and I think that this season they haven't done their bit.
“This football club has big, big players, the Keith Gillespies, the Colin Nixons the Paul Leemans the Gary Hamiltons and they are massive players for this football club, but if that calibre of player is not producing the goods then they are not in the team. That's the bottom line.
“Paul Leeman and Colin Nixon in particular, are — I should say were — very close friends. But on Monday I had to speak to a group of players in a manner that I have never had to do before. I had to tell them that the friendship has to go out the window. It's not because I wanted to, but it's because that's the way it has to be.
“I am the manager of this football club and if I am to make this work I am going to do it my way.
“If you don't perform in training or standards aren't what I expect or you don't produce the goods on a Saturday then don't expect to play the following Saturday.”
Tomorrow, Young's first game arrives. Against Linfield in an Irish Cup quarter final. Rarely has a Glentoran manager ever been thrown in at the deep end the way Young is about to be. But he wouldn't have it any other way.
“I would rather be at the Oval on Saturday in front of 10,000 people playing against Linfield than playing against Institute,” he roared. “That's not being disrespectful. This is why you want to be in this job. It's a cup quarter final against your biggest rivals, there are few bigger occasions.
“Yes, it's a baptism of fire but it's a challenge I am relishing. I am excited and I am looking forward to it. We have worked hard this week in training and I know that at this moment in time the players are ready.
He added: “I have a good relationship with David Jeffrey and I respect everything he has achieved. On Saturday he will probably give me a big kiss on the forehead which will be a bit awkward. But yes, I have a lot of respect for him but that all goes out the window at 3 o'clock because I want to beat him.”