New Felixstowe & Walton United boss joint Kev O’Donnell under no illusions as to size of job ahead
TWO games, two wins and ten goals scored. New Felixstowe & Walton United joint manager Kev O’Donnell could be forgiven for thinking that management is easy.
But O’Donnell, who is now in joint charge with Rob Charles, is fully aware of the challenge he has taken on at the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division club.
The Seasiders were rock bottom and had not scored for over seven hours in the league ahead of the new management duo’s first match in charge against fellow strugglers FC Clacton last Saturday.
A 4-1 win lifted them above FC Clacton and that was followed by a 6-1 win, albeit after extra time, at Ipswich Wanderers in the Red Insure Cup first round on Wednesday night.
O’Donnell, who was previously coach under Danny Laws at Needham Market for five years before becoming assistant to Mark Scott at Thetford in the summer of 2011, said: “I am not under any illusions about the task. There will be difficult times ahead.
“In the two training sessions last week leading up to the Clacton game the squad showed the right mentality.
“They had not scored for so long going into the Clacton game that confidence was low, but when the first goal went in you could see the pressure lift. We have now scored ten goals in two games, which is more than I could have expected.”
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It has been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the 35-year-old, who explained how he came to be appointed.
“After spending five years with Danny Laws at Needham I felt it was time to put into practice what I had learnt, and so moved to Thetford Town. I had a good relationship with Mark Scott, the manager, and I didn’t actually have any aspirations to move into management.
“I knew Rob through Danny Laws and it seemed to click with what I could bring and what he could bring to the job.
“I had a long conversation with Danny and put my name in the frame with Rob, to see what would happen.”
Looking ahead he said: “We want to bring a couple of new players in to give us more strength in the squad, but it is looking positive.
“We have got games in hand, and we have both the opportunity and ability to lift ourselves up the table. I am realistic to realise we won’t finish in the top four or five, but a top-half finish is possible.
“We are still in October and the season doesn’t finish until May, so we have a long way to go and 29 games left to play.”
The Seasiders tomorrow travel to Ely City, who are recovering after a poor start to the season, and O’Donnell said: “They have a big, physical presence, and although we have a physical presence in our squad we want to get the ball down and play.
“We watched them play in midweek (Ely lost 1-0 at Mildenhall in the Red Insure Cup) so we have done our homework and know how to set ourselves up against them.”