Limerick FC's new manager Neil McDonald, right, with Club Chairman Pat O'Sullivan
NEIL McDonald was unveiled as Limerick FC manager at the Markets Field this Thursday morning, on a deal that will keep him with the Blues until the end of the 2019 season.
Tyneside native McDonald assisted in the English Premier League only four months ago, but insists that he was extremely impressed with the set-up and what the club are aiming to achieve going forward.
McDonald said: "I'm very impressed with the club and what they're trying to do. I want to be a part of that and to push them onto a new level. That's why I've come to the club on a long-term project.
“At the end of the day, the team has to win. That's my job. Trying to play exciting football of course, but I want winning football.
"It's the first time in my career that I've signed a contract of this length. It shows I'm committed and shows the club has faith in me to bring the club where it wants to go. It's always a slow process, to get better over time, but the contract gives me that cushion to achieve it.
"I'm here to live. I'll move across as quick as I can. I'm looking forward to that. My family are comfortable with it. Hopefully they can sample Ireland too.
“There's no distractions for me either. I can focus on football completely - getting to games and getting home when I need to get home."
McDonald brushed off any suggestion of a culture shock, describing himself as 'not just a Premier League coach'.
He explained: "I'm pretty confident I can adjust. I haven't just worked in the Premiership, I've worked in the lower leagues too. I've been a youth coach as well. It'll take me time, but I'm confident I can adjust.
“I'll get to know the league as quickly as I can, so I'll be putting in a lot of miles to watch the games. I'm not just a Premiership coach, I'm a football coach."
With ambitions of Europe, the ex-Blackpool boss admits that he will inherit that aim and try to achieve it in his first year.
"We're three points off the European spot at the minute, so I don't see why not. Step by step, I'll introduce my stamp on things and hopefully the players implement that on the football pitch. Europe is achievable.
"I've been given permission to bring an assistant in. The wheels are in motion for an assistant to come in. I can't tell you who that is now, but hopefully we'll all work together to improve the football club and get them where they want to be."
McDonald will take charge of Friday night's Premier Division clash with the champions Dundalk at the Markets Field, 7.45pm.