Belfast Telegraph

Nixon is the man to help Glentoran turn fortunes around says captain Marcus Kane

By Graham Luney

Glentoran captain Marcus Kane believes club legend Colin Nixon is a natural choice as the east Belfast side look to return to the top of the domestic game.

The Glens have kicked off talks with the man who holds the club's all-time appearance record as they aim to revive their fortunes.

Nixon made 794 appearances for The Oval outfit and won four Irish League Championships and five Irish Cups when the club were mixing it with the Irish League's elite but now they have slipped out of the top six and can only secure a Europa League spot through the play-offs.

The 39-year-old just missed out on landing his dream job when the Glens chose Gary Haveron in September 2016 but now the opportunity has arisen again with the club in talks with the Ards boss.

With the legendary Ronnie McFall in temporary charge and set to leave his interim role at the end of the season, Glentoran were looking for a new boss who could make the fans proud again and when Rodney McAree agreed a new contract with Dungannon Swifts, the door swung open for Nixon, a man who fully understands the club's DNA and importance on the Irish League landscape.

Kane and his team-mates are following developments closely as Glentoran chiefs work to persuade Nixon to come on board.

"The club are talking to Colin and it appears a few things need to be ironed out before he can become manager," said Kane.

"Now that Rodney agreed a new deal at Dungannon Swifts, Colin became the No.1 choice of the board and it's obvious to see why.

"Colin was a player when I came to the club and he was a big character and gentleman. Colin is no soft touch and he will let you know when standards need to improve. I think the club need someone like that, someone who cares passionately about the club and expects the highest standards. He would be harsh when he needs to be.

"Colin enjoyed huge success with the club and he has that experience of knowing what it takes to get there.

"He will always be a Glentoran legend and his record number of appearances confirms that. What he has achieved with the club is second to none and he's been a huge player not just for Glentoran but the Irish League.

"He would bring all that experience to the job and particularly a winning mentality because Glentoran must have that. Without that there would be no progress at Glentoran and we need to get the club not just back in the top six but challenging for honours at the top of the table."

Former Linfield man Kane accepts that the new Glens boss will not be able to blow off all the cobwebs straight away. There is no overnight solution to the challenge of steering Glentoran back to the top and as Ballymena United boss David Jeffrey would say, it's about taking baby steps in the right direction. "Without question the club need to be looking long term because we have seen a number of managers come here and then leave again after a short period," insisted Kane.

"That's not how we want to do things, it would be nice to have a bit of stability and the new manager must be given time to build something. There is no quick fix but we've got to back a manager and give him time to turn things around. We've seen other clubs back their manager and reap the rewards, hopefully we can do that too."

The Glens skipper has received good news on the injury front as a suspected broken ankle picked up against Ards on Saturday was not as serious as first thought. The 26-year-old aggravated an old injury and he even hopes to be fit for the home game with Dungannon on Tuesday.

Belfast Telegraph

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