Interim Nairn County boss Mike Rae is happy for Ronnie Sharp to return from his health scare when he is ready – and he is already making his presence felt.
Sharp is taking some time away from football after suffering a heart attack nearly two weeks ago, with assistant manager Rae and reserves coach Brian Macleod in temporary charge of the first-team.
He was discharged from hospital last week and Rae knew deep down Sharp would not be able to stay away.
Sure enough, the long-serving manager was back at Nairn’s home ground on Saturday as the players had a meeting with Rae and Macleod.
“As soon as we started talking, there was Ronnie jumping in. We had to tell him to settle down,” joked Rae, who has served as Sharp’s assistant for five years.
“He said he would stay in the background but he couldn’t help himself.
“Ronnie will still have an input; it’s not a case of making wholesale changes. We’ll have our own ideas with certain things and we’ve had a good chat with Ronnie and (director of football) Graeme Macleod about what our goals are.
“We’ll give Ronnie as much time as he needs. Brian and I both said we’re happy to do what needs to be done to help the club. Once Ronnie feels he can contribute a bit more we’ll be happy to take a step back.”
Rae and Macleod worked together briefly at Nairn before in 2018, prior to Macleod taking the manager’s job at Clach. They played together for the Wee County as well under Sharp, during his first spell as manager.
We are pleased to report that our Manager Ronnie Sharp has been discharged from Raigmore Hospital after suffering a heart attack on Thursday
Ronnie is currently recuperating at home and would like to thank everyone who has sent their best wishes and got in touch to wish him well pic.twitter.com/W284BFMlUi
— Nairn County FC (@NairnCounty) May 26, 2021
The Nairn County players return for pre-season training on Tuesday evening, with games against Jeanfield Swifts, Elgin and Dufftown already lined up.
Rae does not believe the squad needs too much work, more that belief is needed to take them to the next level.
“Our aim is to make the boys more consistent and make them a top-six team,” he said. “They should have that belief.
“Two seasons ago we beat Brora Rangers and got results against Inverurie Locos and Fraserburgh. But it needs to be consistent as we want to make that next step up. The ability is there, it just needs a bit more self-belief.
“We’re not in a situation where we need to be looking desperately for players. But if someone comes along who could improve us, we would be foolish not to consider it.”