Laws is given seven games

Aidan Fitzmaurice

BRIAN LAWS will be given seven games to prove that he's good enough to take over as Shamrock Rovers boss on a long-term basis once he is confirmed as caretaker manager for the rest of the season.

Confirmation of Laws' appointment until the end of the current campaign is due in the next 24 hours and it's expected that the 50-year-old will be in charge for Rovers' next game, Saturday's League Cup final against Drogheda United.

That game has taken on added significance due to events on Friday, when Rovers' only hope of winning one of the two main trophies this season ended as Shelbourne knocked the Hoops out of the FAI Cup at the quarter-final stage.

Winning the League Cup would at least put some silverware on board for Rovers, but a far bigger priority is to make a push for European football, and that's why Laws is now being brought in as Rovers need a strong finish from their six remaining league games to secure a place in Europe.

If former Nottingham Forest man Laws can win over the Rovers fans and board by winning the League Cup for the first time since 1977, he will have made a good start. But a place in Europe is the main target and if Laws fluffs his audition, Rovers may decide to look for someone else to lead them into the 2013 season.

Stephen Glass, who had been assistant to Stephen Kenny, was at the helm for Friday's game away to Shels but the performance, especially in the first half, did little good to his hopes of taking over long term, Rovers finding themselves 2-0 down thanks to two goals from striker Philip Hughes.

The Shels defeat caused other problems for Rovers as Ken Oman was sent off in the first half while fellow defender Pat Sullivan was shown a red card after the game, reportedly for comments made to referee Alan Kelly, and both men are now suspended for Saturday's clash with Drogheda.

With Graham Gartland and Craig Sives both carrying knocks, the suspension of Sullivan and Oman leaves Rovers with little defensive cover for the League Cup final.

With the Stephen Kenny era deemed a failure by the club's hierarchy with less than a year of his three-year deal gone, the Rovers board hope that in looking beyond the League of Ireland and appointing an outsider in the form of Laws, they will bring success back to the club.

Laws, 50, had the best spell of his playing career with Nottingham Forest (1988-94) where he counted Roy Keane among his team-mates.


He moved into management in 1994 with Grimsby Town and had two spells with Scunthorpe United. In 2006, he became Sheffield Wednesday boss and his most recent post was in charge of Championship side Burnley.

The first non-Irish manager of Rovers, Laws has a tricky job ahead of him as uncertainty over players' contracts means he cannot plan ahead for next season.

Only two Rovers players - Ciaran Kilduff and Ronan Finn - are under contract for next season. It's also likely that the Hoops will lose their leading scorer for the last three seasons, Gary Twigg, as he is due to sign for Irish League side Portadown when the League of Ireland season ends next month.