Nock man­ager Mol­loy­minds gap­buthasno fears at fac­ing un­beat­enBens

NO.1 FOR JU­NIORS

Evening Times - - SPORT - By LIAM BRYCE

GREENOCK boss Thomas Mol­loy in­sists his side will show no fear when they travel to take on un­beaten league lead­ers Ben­burb on Satur­day.

Nock thumped Les­ma­hagow 4-1 at Raven­scraig last week­end to take sec­ond spot in the Cen­tral First Di­vi­sion and now face a top-of-the-ta­ble clash with Paul Lover­ing’s men.

The New Tinto Park out­fit have won all four fix­tures in the league and head into the clash as favourites, but Mol­loy has dis­missed any sug­ges­tion that it is a bad time for his charges to come up against the Go­van high-fly­ers.

He said: “Peo­ple have said that’s it not a good time to play them be­cause they’re in great form but we’re un­beaten in our last three as well. It’s a good time for us to go up against them.

“You could be go­ing into a game against a team who are un­beaten and top of the league while you’re on bad run, and then you’re ap­proach­ing it with a bit of fear.

“A lot of peo­ple might say we’ve got noth­ing to lose but it’s still three points at the end of the day – we’re con­fi­dent.”

Mol­loy’s side have made a solid start to the league cam­paign, with Satur­day’s com­fort­able tri­umph over Les­ma­hagow pre­ceded by a dra­matic last­gasp vic­tory away at East Kil­bride This­tle.

Af­ter tak­ing the reins in June, the Tail O’ the Bank gaffer re­cruited 14 new play­ers dur­ing a sum­mer of up­heaval and has quickly made his mark on a side that fin­ished ninth last term.

How­ever, de­spite their lofty league po­si­tion, the 33-year-old cau­tioned against get­ting car­ried away by the pos­i­tive start to the sea­son, in­stead main­tain­ing that he was happy to fo­cus on putting some dis­tance be­tween Greenock and those at the foot of the ta­ble.

“I’ll be hon­est, the ob­jec­tive from the com­mit­tee at the start of the sea­son was to make sure we stayed in the league,” Mol­loy said.

“So at the mo­ment we’re just try­ing to get a gap be­tween our­selves and the teams at the bot­tom of the league.

“But go­ing into Satur­day, if we beat Ben­burb we’ll only be two points be­hind them at the top.

“How­ever, we’re not re­ally look­ing at that – we’re just try­ing to open up a gap from the bot­tom.”

MOL­LOY has en­joyed a fast rise into the manic world of Ju­nior foot­ball man­age­ment, hav­ing been in charge at am­a­teur out­fit Gourock Ath­letic last sea­son.

The for­mer Largs This­tle player took the club from the brink of ex­tinc­tion to an un­likely league ti­tle as they won the Fos­ters Cen­tral AFL, prompt­ing an ap­proach from Greenock to re­place for­mer boss Ste­vie Mooney.

Mol­loy is rel­ish­ing the step up as he gets to work along­side as­sis­tants Ryan Hark­ness and for­mer Kil­marnock and Mor­ton de­fender Shaun Dil­lon.

He added: “I knew it would be a big jump from am­a­teur level in terms of pro­fes­sional- ism, but I’m get­ting on fine. I’ve two great as­sis­tants in Shaun and Ryan and they’re a mas­sive help.

“They’re two very dif­fer­ent peo­ple when it comes to­foot­ball but they’ve been bril­liant.

“It’s taken a bit of time over pre-sea­son but ev­ery­one’s start­ing to click.

“They’re a good group of boys but they know there’s still a lot of work to be done.”

Thomas Mol­loy is rel­ish­ing his job at Greenock Ju­niors and be­lieves it is a good time to go up against the league lead­ers

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