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Jimmy Nicholl relishes enormity of Cowdenbeath task


Nicholl is excited by the challenge at Cowdenbeath

By Brian McLauchlin

Jimmy Nicholl realises he faces a massive task ahead in his new role as manager of Cowdenbeath.

Nicholl's target is to finish eighth - one place above the relegation zone in Division One - and insists that is not because of a lack of ambition.

"Anything other than that with the other teams in the division, it is frightening really," he said.

"You've just got to make them aware of what lies ahead of them. It's going to make or break them."

Nicholl, who was assistant to Jimmy Calderwood at Dunfermline Athletic, Aberdeen and Kilmarnock, points out that Cowdenbeath do not just have to make the normal leap up to a higher division.

They are a part-time club facing up to mainly full-time rivals and that is something to which he himself has to adjust.

You forget they have been up ladders and down holes all day

Cowdenbeath manager Jimmy Nicholl

"We need a few bodies in, because we are short of bodies," Nicholl said of his search for new players.

"Not just ones that have to come in but ones that are on holiday at the minute, which they shouldn't be. We are all entitled to a holiday, but not that long.

"But it is just typical of the trials and tribulations you have at part-time clubs and you've got to appreciate that.

"You forget they have been up ladders and down holes all day, so you have to bite your tongue and drop your demands a bit until you get used to it.

"One of the lads was telling me that he's been working from five o'clock until half five this morning, right through the night, and then he is in here at half nine this morning."

Nicholl hopes to one day work again with Calderwood, the pair having left Kilmarnock after only six months with the club because the manager was unhappy at the player and staffing budget.

"I had 10 or 11 great years with Jimmy," he said. "I learned so much, on and off the park. I really enjoyed it and I hope we do get the opportunity in the future to work together again.

"But, for now, and I spoke to him about it, the situation is that I had the opportunity to go for an interview with Cowdenbeath and he said 'do what you have to do and good luck to you'.

"Because it was a blow last year when we were out of the game so long. When the Aberdeen thing happened, I did not think it was going to be eight months before we were working again at any level.

Jimmy Calderwood and Jimmy Nicholl
Calderwood and Nicholl have gone their separate ways - for now

"If Jimmy gets a good offer of a club, everything might still be in place for him and he might end up working with different people.

"I don't think that far ahead. You have just got to go with your gut feeling. My gut feeling is that I would like to take on this challenge of keeping Cowdenbeath in the First Division."

Nicholl has the rare distinction of having managed three Fife clubs, having had two spells as boss of Raith Rovers and a spell as caretaker of Dunfermline Athletic.

He knows the area but says he is leaving worries about the condition of the stadium and a possible move away from Central Park to others at the club and is just happy to be back coaching players.

It had looked like Forfar Athletic manager Dick Campbell, to whom Nicholl was assistant at Dunfermline, would be Cowden's new boss.

"I was away on holiday and thought it was all done and dusted," said Nicholl. "It was down to a couple of the lads and then I got invited to an interview when I got back in.

"After listening to what they had to say, I thought I would like to be a part of that.

"The club has done really well the last few seasons and that's them up in the First Division. It's a massive challenge for the club."

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see also
Cameron becomes Cowden assistant
05 Jul 10 |  Cowdenbeath
Cowden's Bradley joins St Mirren
28 Jun 10 |  St Mirren
Cowdenbeath appoint Nicholl boss
25 Jun 10 |  Cowdenbeath
St Mirren sign Cowden's McQuade
21 Jun 10 |  St Mirren
Jenkins follows Lennon to Saints
17 Jun 10 |  St Mirren
Cowden's McGregor joins Buddies
15 Jun 10 |  St Mirren
Winger McBride swaps Fife clubs
11 Jun 10 |  Raith

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