Tommy Breslin takes Cliftonville hotseat again until end of the season
TOMMY Breslin last night made a sensational return to the Cliftonville hotseat – but insisted his managerial encore won’t extend beyond this season.
After the shock departure of Reds boss Gerard Lyttle last Friday, the Cliftonville board moved swiftly to appoint Breslin and his assistant Peter ‘Minto’ Murray until the end of the season.
The north Belfast club are still in the running for the last remaining Europa League qualifying berth which is worth £200,000 in prize money.
Any prospect of Breslin taking the reins on a permanent basis was kicked into touch by the former midfielder.
“There is no chance we’ll be staying on beyond the end of this season,” said Breslin.
“Gerard [Lawlor, club chairman] rang me yesterday and said that the team needed a lift and could you help us.
“What are you supposed to say? I spoke to ‘Minto’ and he said to me: ‘Now, Bressy it’s only a couple of matches…’
“I said: ‘Peter, trust me. It’s two or three games at the most!’
“So I got back to Gerard and I said ‘yes’. We’ll give it a lash.”
The Reds host title-chasing Linfield at Solitude on Saturday while defending champions Crusaders will be hoping for a massive favour from their north Belfast neighbours.
But sealing the Europa League spot is Breslin’s only objective.
Breslin is the most successful manager Cliftonville has ever had, guiding the Reds to back-to-back league titles in 2012/13 and 2013/14.
After a poor run of results in the early stages of the 2015/16 campaign, Breslin resigned in August 2015 and was replaced by his first-team coach Gerard Lyttle.
Breslin revealed he felt “duty-bound” to answer Cliftonville’s SOS call while he also remains firm friends with chairman Gerard Lawlor.
“Gerard and me get on well,” he added.
“He obviously gave me the opportunity to manage and he’s been good to me on a number of fronts, so I couldn't say no to him.”