Holleran is the man to get us up, says Leamington chairman

Leamington chairman Jim Scott says the board are fully behind Paul Holleran ahead of the 2016/17 season.
Leamington chairman Jim Scott says the board are fully behind Paul Holleran ahead of the 2016/17 season.

Leamington chairman Jim Scott believes Paul Holleran is the right man to deliver on the board’s promotion aim next season.

Brakes narrowly missed out on an instant return to the Conference North after letting a half-time lead slip in the play-off final at Hungerford, going on to lose 2-1.

However, after seeing fellow relegated sides Colwyn Bay and Hyde again fall through the relegation trapdoor, Scott says Holleran’s achievements in getting Brakes into the top five are deserving of another crack at promotion.

“We review the situation at the end of every year and, in the board’s view, Paul delivered on what we wanted,” said Scott.

“We hoped to be in the play-offs and we did that and got so close to going up.

“You need many skills: contacts, an ability to manage a budget and to get players to play for you. These are key factors in non-league.

“In addition, Paul has the ability to get sides up against teams with higher budgets.

“Many people were deflated when we got relegated from the Conference North - we were on a tight budget and one or two things went against us.

“But of all the teams that were relegated from the Conference Premier, North and South, we were the only ones who got into the play-offs.”

A long winless sequence in January and February put paid to Brakes’ automatic promotion hopes and led to unrest among certain sections of the support, with Holleran’s tactics called into question.

And, while Scott says he can sympathise with the fans’ concerns, he maintains the bottom line has to be winning games, by whatever means.

“Style of play is an issue, I understand that. It’s an entertainment business.

“We need to re-energise the squad. We have the foundation but it’s always a balance.

“You look at Leicester. People say they are exciting but they defend most of the time and then come at you at a rate of knots.

“Paul knows the challenge ahead but we believe he has the ability and we are fully behind him.

“The reality is that we are going for promotion next season, whether that be direct or through the play-offs.”