Belfast Telegraph

New Limavady United boss Neil Mullan thrilled to make winning start

By Keith Bailie

Limavady United have a new man at the helm and he's already made an impact.

Last week, former player Neil Mullan replaced Timmy Dixon as manager of Limavady United after the Roesiders got off to a slow start. The Belfast Telegraph Championship One side hadn't won a league game this term until Mullan guided them to a 1-0 win over Lisburn Distillery, who were unbeaten in the league going into that game.

Mullan, who played for Limavady United in the Premier League, was delighted with the surprise 1-0 win.

“It was a great boost for us to get off to a winning start.,” he said.

“We've found ourselves 3-0 or 4-0 down at half time on a few occasions this season, so for me it was important to keep the score at 0-0 for as long as possible. That way you've always got a chance.

“We managed that and then we got a breakaway goal. After that, we defended well and held on. Distillery retained the ball well but they didn't create many chances, so it was a pleasing performance for us.”

Last season, Limavady managed to avoid relegation, despite a dramatic dip in form after Christmas after the team's budget was cut on the day they won the Craig Memorial Cup. This season, it seems likely that Limavady will be involved in another relegation dog fight, but Mullan believes he can keep the Roesiders in the second tier.

“I wouldn't have taken the job if I didn't think I could make a difference. We need to have a positive attitude if we are to avoid relegation,” he said.

“We are under no illusions however, we are open-minded enough to know we are in a difficult place. We've no money and when you've no money, it is difficult to attract experienced players, and experienced players are exactly what we need.

“We've a very young team at the moment, but we are hoping to bring in four or five new faces in January. We are already in discussions with people.”

Mullan moved quickly to hire former team-mate Aidy McLaughlin as his assistant. McLaughlin was Limavady's manager last season, but quit the club at the end of the season.

Mullan has no hesitations about asking McLaughlin back to the Showgrounds for another stint.

“Aidy and I are good friends who have known each other for along time. We bounce off each other well, which is a good thing for a number one and a number two. Aidy has managed at this level before so he knows the league and his experience will certainly be an asset. But we both know we won't change things overnight.”

While the road ahead might be rocky for Limavady United, with Mullan and McLaughlin behind the steering wheel, the Roesiders stand a fighting chance.

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