Huge interest in vacant Dundalk job, Jim Magilton says

Magilton confirmed that Filippo Giovagnoli's old assistant Giuseppe Rossi would be remaining on at Oriel Park beyond the appointment of a successor
Huge interest in vacant Dundalk job, Jim Magilton says

Dundalk sporting director Jim Magilton. Picture: INPHO/Lorcan Doherty

Dundalk sporting director Jim Magilton says there has been huge interest in the vacant managerial post at Oriel Park but has ruled himself out of the running for the job on a full-time basis.

The former Ipswich Town and QPR boss took charge of the struggling Co Louth side at the Ryan McBride Brandywell Stadium on Tuesday night following the departures of Shane Keegan and Filippo Giovagnoli from the club at the weekend.

Despite the change in the dug out, former Northern Irish international Magilton was unable to inspire Dundalk to a first win of the season as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Derry City after David McMillan's 53rd minute opener was cancelled out just after the hour mark by Cameron McJannet.

That means that the FAI Cup holders will be hoping it is seventh time lucky when they host neighbours Drogheda Utd at Oriel Park on Saturday evening but despite numerous names being linked to the managerial role in recent days, Magilton expects to be in charge for what will be the first Louth derby in the Premier Division since 2017.

Asked about the possibility of having a new man in charge for the visit of Tim Clancy's side, Magilton said: "I think it's too soon but my phone hasn't stopped.

"We've got lots (of interest).

"There must be coaches and managers the length and breadth of Europe and the country licking their lips to get a hold of this squad because they're a talented bunch of players and they've been a pleasure to work with. If someone manages to come in and works with them I'm sure we can turn the corner. I'm positive we can turn the corner, absolutely positive.

"We'll get a shortlist, we'll interview and go through that process and hopefully we'll get the right person."

Magilton said that he hoped to be actively involved in the recruitment process alongside chairman Bill Hulsizer and other members of the club's American-based board but ruled out a return to management himself.

"Listen, this was great and for as long as it continues I'm going to try and enjoy it. It's probably easier to enjoy it when you're going to hand it over," he said.

"They're a good bunch of lads and my job as I see it now is to try and get them over the line and get them a win and when someone else comes in I'll hand that over to them and wish them all the best."

Magilton confirmed that Giovagnoli's old assistant Giuseppe Rossi would be remaining on at Oriel Park beyond the appointment of a successor to the Italian but insisted it was now up to the players to start believing in themselves after the club's worst start to a season since 2003.

"They're used to winning games of football but it's just confidence and trust. As a player when I went through that there's that millisecond of hesitancy that can creep into your game, there's a little bit of self doubt but they've got to fight through that.

"They're an experienced bunch. They've got to keep believing in each other, keep backing each other and keep trusting each other."

While there are still 30 games remaining in the season, Dundalk - with the highest wage bill in the league - are already 11 points off the pace of Shamrock Rovers, Sligo Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic but Magilton says if any squad can rein that gap in it is theirs.

"It is (a big gap) but do you know what? There's enough quality in there."

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