DANNY LENNON turned down a game in front of 75,000 fans at Old Trafford for a trip to crumbling Central Park in order to start his job as Alloa manager early.
Lennon was meant to spend Saturday watching Manchester United’s Premier League match against Aston Villa with his son. But after meeting Athletic chairman Mike Mulraney the day before to discuss taking charge at Recreation Park, he cancelled it to check out his team’s Championship rivals instead.
Lennon was one of the 515 people who took in this weekend’s opponents Dumbarton’s game at Cowdenbeath as he began plotting how to get Alloa out of relegation trouble.
After learning last week his deal as Scotland’s interim under-21 coach would not be extended, he has signed a contract until next summer in Clackmannanshire.
Lennon said: “On Saturday I was due to go to Manchester for United’s game against Aston Villa with my young boy. But when the vacancy came from Alloa, there were whispers and the SFA let me know there was an interest. I met the chairman for two hours on Friday and I was sold on the position.
“There are fantastic facilities here and if you had to pick a part-time model in Scottish football to follow, this would be it. The aim is to stay in the Championship and that would be a fantastic achievement but, with the right blend and some luck, you may be able to push a little bit higher than that.
“I am up for that challenge. The chairman has a fantastic vision for the club and has improved it in so many areas over the years so I wanted to get down to the nitty-gritty.”
After two promotions at Cowdenbeath, Lennon led St Mirren to their first major trophy in 26 years when they won the League Cup in 2013 yet was moved on last summer.
He will have a watching brief tonight when his new charges take on Hearts, with caretaker Paddy Connolly taking the team at Tynecastle.
Lennon added: “Some people may question my ambition but many a top-flight manager out of work decides to look for the next top job that comes along and nothing comes their way.
“There are a lot of coaches and managers looking for work and managing at Alloa certainly gives me a platform to show what I can do again.”
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