Bohs manager a ‘winner’ and a big fan of the SPL

BOHEMIANS captain Owen Heary insists Pat Fenlon’s lack of experience in Scottish football won’t be an issue at Hibernian – because the Gypsies manager is obsessed with the Premier League.

Fenlon is expected to be unveiled as Colin Calderwood’s successor before tomorrow’s clash with St Johnstone after the Easter Road side were granted permission by Bohs to speak to the 42-year-old.

Defender Heary was Fenlon’s loyal skipper and helped the Hibs target wrap up all five of his League of Ireland title triumphs with Shelbourne and Bohemians.

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One of the concerns raised about Hibs’ pursuit of Fenlon is the fact he has never played or coached in Scotland but right-back Heary revealed his manager has been keeping tabs on the top-flight for years.

Heary said: “He follows Scottish football, he has done for a long time and he even gets one of the Scottish newspapers sent over to him. You would go into work and you would see a Scottish newspaper lying there. From playing with him, I am aware that he had a big interest in the football over there.

“He has grown up liking Scottish football, he’ll know the players, he’ll know the league inside out so he will be well prepared for it.”

Fenlon is set to inherit a side that is just two points clear of basement outfit Inverness with just three wins from 15 league fixtures, but Heary is sure he will get everyone pulling in the right direction.

Heary added: “He would be able to rectify any problems Hibs have got. He’s a winner, he has that winning mentality. When you have that, it transfers to the players and they respect it. With the set-up they’ve got at Hibs, I think they’ll do well.

“His man-management is good, as is his personality and that will come across on the training pitch to the players and they’ll enjoy working under him.

“It’s the way he approaches things and the way he talks to players. I think the man-management side of it is massive and if you have that, the players trust him and you do well.

“He likes to play attacking football but as well as that, he is aware you have to keep clean sheets and he is adamant you have to defend properly.

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“He will make sure that when your attacking with a purpose and not just doing it thinking ‘we might get a goal’. He likes players to express himself, if you have players that are very skilful, he will like them to get on the ball. He does not want the game to hold them back, he wants the workers to work and the players to play.”

Fenlon led Bohs to title successes in 2008 and 2009 before the club’s cash woes mounted and Heary insists they were punching above their weight last season when the Dubliner was forced to rely on youngsters.

He added: “Even though we had a team that was probably not capable of winning the league last season, we still had the feeling that we could. If you look at the past year at Bohs, he didn’t have the finances and the resources and he brought in a lot of young lads.

“People thought we would struggle but we were in the running in the league right up to the end and we got to the FAI Cup semi-final, which is some achievement in itself considering what he had to work with. If he could get the best out of us last year with the team he had, I think he will do the same at Hibs.”