Board back management

Berwick Rangers vs Annan Athletic. Berwick manager Ian Little looks on in the sidelines with coaching staff.
Berwick Rangers vs Annan Athletic. Berwick manager Ian Little looks on in the sidelines with coaching staff.

IAN Little and Robbie Horn have won the approval of the Berwick board of directors and will be in charge of team affairs next season.

Little, who was appointed manager following the departure of Jimmy Crease in October, introduced Horn as his assistant, following his successful spell with East of Scotland League side Innerleithen.

Both were initially installed until the end of the season, when the club said they would make a further announcement.

But following a board meeting on Saturday, at which Little and Horn made a presentation with their views on how to take the club forward, they were handed the roles on a permanent basis.

Chairman Brian Porteous said: “Ian and Robbie are young and hungry and we think they deserve their chance.

“We still have to sit down with them and discuss the terms of their contracts, but for all intents and purposes they are now the club’s management team and will be in charge of team affairs at the start of next season.”

Porteous said that a month ago he wondered what was the best option for the club – stick with rookie boss Little or make a clean break and bring in someone new.

“It was a difficult choice,” he admitted, “because the results were not going our way. But since then Robbie has come in and he and ‘Yano’ (Little) seem to work well together.

“They made a good presentation to the board and the decision to appoint them full-time was a unanimous one.

“Things haven’t worked out how we had hoped this season, I’ll admit to that.

“At the start of the season I though man for man we had as good a squad as we have ever had, and I was hopeful we might be able to achieve something.

“We could have cut Ian and Robbie loose, but I think that would have been unfair at this stage. They need time to prove themselves and I think in making this decision now we have done precisely that.”

Little and Horn were naturally both delighted at their appointment and were eager to thank the directors for the opportunity.

“We want Berwick to be a success,” said Little, “and Robbie and I are both grateful for the chance we have been given.

“Admittedly, today’s result (a 4-1 home defeat to Queens Park) was not the ideal way to get things started, but we have a base on which we would like to build.

“Our first job is to identify which players from the existing squad we would like to keep. Then we have to identify the kind of players we want to bring in, and then we have to go out and try to sign them.

“Another key issue we need to try and resolve, however, is our inability to win at home. That’s four months without a home win and it’s not good enough. The fans deserve better, and between now and the end of the season we have to try and put that right.”

Horn added: “The presentation to the board went well and they could see what we are trying to achieve. We want to bring success to Berwick.

“We know that to do that some changes will need to be made and some decisions we make will be difficult.

“There is a big job to be done here at Berwick, and it will take time.

“We have to prove our worth, but it is a challenge we are both looking forward to.

“This year has gone, I think everyone realises that. What we have to do now is build towards next season and identify the players we want to keep and those we want to bring in.

“Like Ian I would like to thank the directors for the opportunity they have given us.

“They have shown faith in us, now it is up to us to prove that faith is justified.”