Belfast Telegraph

Nacho Novo: Give me a chance and I will make Glentoran a major force again


Oval hero: Nacho Novo when he signed for Glens at start of last season
Oval hero: Nacho Novo when he signed for Glens at start of last season

By Steven Beacom

Former Rangers hero Nacho Novo has revealed why he wants to return to the Oval to become Glentoran's new manager and has outlined his belief that he can transform the fortunes of the east Belfast club.

Novo, who played for the Glens last season, is one of a number of candidates interested in the job which is currently being filled by Ronnie McFall on an interim basis.

Ex-Portadown boss McFall, a legendary figure in the Irish League, is in his second spell at the helm at Glentoran but has been at pains to point out that the arrangement will end when this season is over.

Following the sacking of Gary Haveron in February, both Rodney McAree and Colin Nixon have rebuffed the advances of Glentoran, preferring to sign new three-year contracts with their respective teams Dungannon Swifts and Ards.

On the back of Nixon, the club's record appearance holder and an Oval legend, turning the Glens down, fans have been critical of the process with some suggesting the search for Haveron's replacement has become shambolic.

Nixon stated he never felt like Glentoran's first choice and therefore stayed at Ards where he insisted he knew he was wanted.

Jumping into the hotseat still remains an attractive proposition for some, however, with ex-Rangers defender Bob Malcolm, former Northern Ireland and Glentoran striker Andy Smith, Lisburn native Johnny McKinstry, previously in charge of Rwanda and Sierra Leone, and IFA Elite Performance Coach and one time Dungannon boss Darren Murphy amongst those keen on the role.

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Without question though the biggest name is Novo, a man who became a hugely well liked figure when he played at Ibrox from 2004 to 2010.

In that six years at Rangers he scored numerous crucial goals, won every domestic trophy available and was an inspirational figure in the club's run to the 2008 Uefa Cup final.

Novo was keen on the Glentoran manager's role in August 2016 when Alan Kernaghan left but the powers that be at The Oval chose Haveron instead.

That decision was a blow to the 39-year-old Spaniard but it hasn't put him off and, after a disappointing season for the Glens in which they have finished seventh in the league with no trophies to shout about, he feels he could bring the good times back for the fans.

"I would be delighted to be given an opportunity to do the job because I feel like I need to give something to the club and the people of east Belfast," Novo told the Belfast Telegraph.

"All the fans were great with me when I was there and have been the same since, and I have full confidence that I could turn everything around at Glentoran and make the team do well.

"It's a huge club and a club that I feel close to. I really enjoyed my time there and genuinely feel I am more than capable of turning things around.

"I believe I would bring experience to the role from all my time in football and I would also have good people with lots of experience beside me.

"An important point is that I feel I could bring some really good young players into the club and with the fans behind us we could all move on together.

"I believe I could work with experienced players and also give a lot to kids who want to improve. That would be a big thing for me to try and make youngsters better players and help them achieve their dreams."

First time around going for the Glentoran job, Novo was planning on bringing in Rangers great Ian Durrant as part of his backroom team.

This time he may try a different approach by linking up with someone who has connections to the club.

Most pressing though is his desire to talk to The Oval board to outline his vision for the future. Given his experience and standing in the game, it would seem odd if the Glens hierarchy didn't hear him out.

"I didn't get the Glentoran job the last time it came up and Gary Haveron was made the manager but now I would really like a chance to outline my ideas," said Novo.

"I would definitely like to talk to the people in charge at Glentoran. This is football, and I know it can be complicated at times and you never know what is around the corner, but I would love to get the job because I believe I could do really well for the club and the fans."

Belfast Telegraph


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