Belfast Telegraph

Alan Kernaghan is top choice by Glentoran: Steve Lomas

By Stuart McKinley

Alan Kernaghan has been labelled 'an excellent coup' for Glentoran by a player he once shared a dressing room with at Manchester City.

Former Northern Ireland international Steve Lomas followed in Kernaghan's footsteps when he became manager of St Johnstone in 2001 and he believes that his ex-Maine Road team-mate possesses the necessary credentials to be a successful Irish League boss.

Kernaghan, who has been handed an 18-month contract by the Glens, will be thrown in at the deep end on Saturday when they make the short trip across Belfast to face defending champions and current league leaders Crusaders.

Lomas (pictured), who was already established in the Manchester City first team when Kernaghan joined from Middlesbrough in 1993, doesn't see the prospect of facing Stephen Baxter's side straight off the bat as something that will phase the new Glens boss.

"Although I know Alan as an ex-team-mate, I haven't seen how he coaches, but from what I have heard, by all accounts he is a good coach and he has a good career behind him, so I expect him to do well in the Irish League," said Lomas.

"Alan was a whole-hearted and honest player who was straightforward in his approach.

"He was confident and organised and I think he will bring that into management in the Irish League, where you don't get a great deal of time to work with the players on the training ground during the week.

"I know that he has had various roles at clubs over the past few years, so he has earned his stripes and he will be ready to give it a go as the number one.

"Given his playing experience and the clubs he has coached at he will immediately be respected in the dressing room.

"Having guys like Alan at Glentoran and David Healy at Linfield managing in the Irish League can only be good for the profile as well."

Kernaghan's most recent role in the full-time game was alongside another of his ex-City colleagues, German striker Uwe Rosler, who took him to Brentford as his assistant.

The pair left the club two years ago, with Kernaghan staying on as caretaker boss before current Rangers manager Mark Warburton was installed.

Lomas believes the decision to sack them was a mistake.

"He was very unfortunate at Brentford where he was number two to Uwe Rosler," said Lomas.

"I felt that the club let them go too early after starting quite well.

"I was surprised that Uwe didn't take him to Leeds when he went there and that is something that he maybe regrets now after how that turned out."

Kernaghan has already stated his intention to strengthen the Glentoran squad as soon as possible, with a busy January transfer window anticipated and Lomas can foresee the boss calling in some favours across the water.

"Given his background as a player and a coach I would expect that he will have good contacts that will help him get some good young players in, if that's what he's looking for."

Belfast Telegraph


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