Roddy Collins’ second stint as Athlone Town manager began surprisingly on Friday night when he took to the bench at half-time of their 2-1 defeat to Shelbourne at Tolka Park.
Athlone Town found themselves 2-0 down at the break, but a goal from Jason Lyons on 79 minutes gave them some hope of getting a point. However that failed to materialise.
Collins met the media after the game. He said, “Second half was a good ould game. First half was a non-event. You’re 0-0 at half-time and you think if you lose one you’ve no way of coming back. So you go out the second half and have a bash. I always think you’re better off losing the game having a go and learning about your players. I thought in the second half, a free-kick we didn’t defend properly, and then a dubious goal, I thought the linesman was flagging for a foul but we didn’t get it. We got one or two chances.”
When asked if he met the club’s investor before taking charge of the club, he said “I met Marc Formeaux. I don’t need to meet the main investor, I only want to meet him if he doesn’t pay,” said Collins laughing.
He went on, “The people that have come into the club have a 5-year plan. I’ve come in for this year, with an option of another at the end of the season. If the plan works we can bring in players if that’s what they want.”
Regarding future signing, “Whoever the best players are, Irish or Foreign. It doesn’t matter to me. If the fella can play, it’s ok with me. I mean the keeper took some stick during the week I believe, I wasn’t here, but he was brilliant tonight. So it doesn’t matter where they’re form, that’s not important. There will be options to bring players in from abroad, but that’s good. I done it before at Bohs, so I think it’s good.”
He was asked if he learned anything about the players in the game. He said, “I leant that some of the players aren’t fit enough, that’s for sure. Some of them aren’t experienced enough, and some just aren’t good enough.”
“I seen a few videos of them, but you need to see them in the flesh. Listen, they tried hard. It’s a situation that’s going to be built on over a few years, that’s why I came in. The second half tonight was a learning curve for everyone. I told the lads at half time, you played the first half as though you were never going to win. The second half, you lost a game that you tried to wi, and could have got a draw out of it. But you learn from it.”