Richie Holland confident Cork City will appoint right person for permanent job

Cork City assistant manager Richie Holland (left) with former manager Colin Healy.

Seán O'Connor

Cork City assistant manager Richie Holland has ruled himself out of taking the job on a permanent basis and is confident the club will bring in the right successor, even if their search takes a few more weeks.

After Colin Healy’s resignation on May 3, the application process for potential candidates closed last week. Holland oversaw back-to-back defeats in the aftermath of Healy’s departure, before City earned a long-awaited win over Sligo Rovers last Friday, their first in seven outings.

While Holland was unable to offer an update on the club’s hunt for a new boss, he admits he’s happy to continue leading the team even if the search drags on several weeks.

“To be honest I haven't thought that far ahead,” replied Holland, when asked if he’d be happy to still be leading the team into the two-week summer break in June.

“With the schedule and work that's involved with the games, you always look at it day by day. Now it’s three weeks since Colin has left, time is passing on, but I’m sure the club will make the right decision going forward.

"If it has to take another couple of weeks, another few days, whatever it is, I think the club will make the right decision.

“No, I didn’t apply. There was an application process and the club are dealing with that at the moment. We’re working as normal.

“Whoever comes in, it’s their decision at the end of the day (to bring in new staff or not). I have a contract here and so do the staff. For us, we’re going to work and be professional. What will happen then will happen.”

After the club’s third win of 2023, Holland’s next task is a home date against four-in-a-row chasing Shamrock Rovers, who they drew 4-4 against in a Tallaght Stadium thriller last March.

City found themselves 4-2 ahead going into the final 10 minutes in Dublin 24, before two late goals by the Hoops denied the newly-promoted side a memorable victory.

Despite Rovers falling to a shock 2-1 defeat to Drogheda United last Friday, Holland is aware of the quality Stephen Bradley’s side possesses and labelled the clash as the ‘ultimate’ test.

“Shamrock Rovers have some outstanding individuals and have had numerous high quality performances in the league and Europe in the last couple of years, it’s the ultimate test but one to look forward to,” added Holland, with Cork currently in ninth, five points below Drogheda and six above rock-bottom UCD.

“They went on a bit of a run since we played them last. They probably didn’t start the season great by their own standards, but they’ve kicked on and shown in the last number of weeks that they’re a really top quality side.

“They’ve rightfully won the league for the last number of years because they’ve played the best football.

“When you work for a club like Cork City, every game is a big game, it doesn’t matter who it’s against. It’s exciting because if we put in a performance like we did up in Tallaght, you can get a result.

“You have to have a balance to it. If you go all gung-ho, they have good players and will find a way out. We have to be at our best to get something on Friday.”