He made no shortage of appearances as a player in the EFL – over 450 to be more precise – but new Oldham Athletic boss Steve Robinson is now relishing his return as a manager.The 41-year-old played for the likes of AFC Bournemouth, Preston North End, Bristol City and Luton Town across a 15-year professional career, and will now take his first steps as a number one when the EFL kicks off again this week.
Robinson arrives from his role as assistant manager at Motherwell in the SPL, as well as Northern Ireland, where he helped Michael O'Neill's side to the knockout stages of EURO 2016 this summer.
He admits it's been a busy start to life at SportsDirect.com Park, but feels his squad are in good shape ahead of their Sky Bet League One opener with Millwall on Saturday.
“When I arrived last month there were five players at the club, so there's been a lot of changes already,” he told the EFL.
“We've managed to get 10 or 11 players in, all of a decent calibre, so it gives us a chance. We're still searching for a few more to finish things off. We were playing catch-up as we've been about 10 days behind everybody else, but we're getting there.
“It was a big decision to leave the two jobs I had, but I thought it was a great opportunity and the owners convinced me that they will back me completely in terms of trying to transform the club, so it's an exciting time.”
The 2016/17 season will mark the 20th consecutive campaign where Oldham have taken part in the third tier of English football, and they haven’t finished in the top half of the table since 2009.
But Robinson knows he can lean on experience in the division to help steer the Latics back towards the Championship for the first time since 1997.
“I played in the EFL for a long time, so it's good to be back,” he added.
“I’m familiar with the players and the grounds, so I'm really looking forward to my time with Oldham.
“Our aim is to continue to build a squad. A lot of clubs have theirs, and have done so for a while, and their targets are in place. We didn't have that until relatively late in pre-season.
“Our biggest challenge is to stay in the division but we've got aspirations of our own, of where we would like to take the club to.”
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