Brian McGinty says his number one aim at Cumnock is to keep them in the West of Scotland League Premier Division.

The 44-year-old replaced Tony McInally in the Townhead Park hotseat a week ago and got his reign off to a flyer with a vital 2-1 win away to Benburb on Saturday.

But he's under no illusions about the task in front of him as he tries to steer the 'Nock well clear of a nightmare SEVEN-team drop zone.

It's a challenge he can't wait to sink his teeth into after almost two years away from the dugout.

And he insists his experiences at last club Irvine Meadow - who he quit in January 2020 - will stand him in good stead for the job that lies ahead.

McGinty took over a Medda side languishing near the bottom of the old West Region Super First Division in October 2017and guided them back to Junior football's top flight at the first attempt.

He said: "It's a similar situation to when I took the Meadow job.

"Cumnock are a big club from the outside looking in, but they've not really lived up to that on the park in recent years.

"It's a club with good people and off the park everything is right. The facilities are excellent but, for a variety of reasons, the football side hasn't kept pace.

"The priority just now has to be staying up. With seven teams going down it's almost inevitable there will be some seasoned teams in that group. We have to make sure we're not one of them.

"We need bodies and we'll work away in the background on that. That's nobody's fault because it's really difficult to bring in boys just now.

"It's a faily inexperienced squad we have though and we need to help the young boys."

McGinty insists he has a good base to work from.

"When you look back on the season so far there's been some outstanding performances in there," he added.

Cumnock currently sit 12th in the 20-team top flight
Cumnock currently sit 12th in the 20-team top flight

"They've already beat the likes of Darvel, Kilwinning and Pollok - some of the top teams in the division - so there's quality there.

"It's about trying to get 90 minutes out the guys every week.

"Everybody will get a fair crack of the whip. It might not be this week but over the next few weeks players will get their chance."

McGinty, who spent season 2000-2001 at Cumnock as a player, isn't phased by the time he's spent away from management.

He said: "I think when I left Meadow there was only another three or four games played before Covid struck and theseason was stopped.

"I think I've only missed 30 or 40 games of football in total because of the Covid situation.

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"It wasn't a conscious decision to take such a long break. My mum passed away a year past August and to be honest I was in no rush to get back after that.

"It was only at the beginning of this season I thought to myself I'll see what comes up. There was a few phone calls but nothing that really floated my boat. Cumnock was different."

McGinty has brought in long-time wingman Stevie Aitchison as his assistant.

"Aitchy and I have known each other since we were 11, 12-years-old," said McGinty.

"He's been helping out at Glencairn recently and they've been on a really good run.

"I'm sure that's in no small part down to the work Aitchy has done there.

"We work well together and there's trust there."

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