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Ross Tokely: ‘Sometimes after relegation change is best for manager and club’

Ross Tokely back in his Caley Thistle days
Ross Tokely back in his Caley Thistle days

Former Caley Thistle defender Ross Tokely reckons Paul Sheerin is the man to head the Highlanders’ return to the Premiership.

Inverness directors are keen to speak to Aberdeen under-20s coach Sheerin about replacing Richie Foran as manager, while former assistant-manager Maurice Malpas and Queen’s Park manager Gus MacPherson are also in the frame.

Brora Rangers manager Tokely has labelled Sheerin as the outstanding candidate and is confident the 42-year-old can revitalise a downbeat Inverness squad following relegation to the Championship.

The pair played together during midfielder Sheerin’s more than three-year stint at Caledonian Stadium between 1998 and 2001, and Tokely said: “I know Paul well and he is one who I reckon, with an experienced assistant, can make a difference.

“I’m sure the directors will spend time thinking about it, but Paul would be hungry and would know the club as well, which is important.

“He’s ready, he’s a very highly-respected coach. When I played with him he was very dedicated and he likes to play football the right way.

“Knowing Paul as I do, I am confident the players would react to him. It will be a clean slate for a lot of the squad.

“I had a look at the players the other day and if they can retain the key ones, they’ve got a very good chance of getting promotion back into the Premiership. If he gets the job, whoever he gets in is an important choice for him. He’s still a young coach, but he’s ambitious and I think that’s what the club needs.

“It’s a very important choice for the board and they’ve got to choose wisely.”

Tokely was part of the Caley Jags side that last suffered relegation in 2009 before bouncing back the following season, and he reckons a fresh start is best for both Foran and the club.

Tokely added: “It’s never nice to see anybody lose their job. It’s a tough one, I know how passionate Richie was for the club, but it was a hard season for him.

“Yes he finished with three wins out of four, but sometimes when a club get relegated it’s often best for the manager and the club to have a change.

“Sometimes things just don’t work out in football and the board have decided to get somebody fresh in. I’m hoping it works.

“It’s about getting somebody in who gives the players and the club a fresh start for next season because it’s certainly a season in which they need to try and bounce back to the Premiership.”

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