Newly-appointed Perth Glory boss Kenny Lowe says coaching isn’t a popularity contest and the club have been “brave” in handing him a two-year contract.
Glory confirmed the appointment of the 52-year-old Englishman at Tuesday’s press conference, which came as a surprise to many, including Lowe himself, after the club shortlisted two foreign coaches and enquired about Graham Arnold's availability.
The decision came after Lowe managed only four wins and four draws from 17 games having taken over from Alistair Edwards in December, also overseeing a poor 10-game winless run amid talk of player unrest.
“I heard Frank Farina say it’s not a popularity contest. It isn’t,” Lowe said.
“There will be people who are happy and there will be people who are sad. When Sir Alex Ferguson was at Manchester United, there were people that were happy and people who were sad. It’s football.
“There’s only two things I can guarantee will happen while I’m at this club, one is I’ll get criticism, two is I’ll get the sack. I hope that’s a long way down the road.”
Remarkably, Lowe admitted he was surprised to get the nod, after Glory’s global search which saw the club receive more than 50 applications from Brazil to Spain.
“I’m surprised. I’m not high profile, but I’ve got qualities which will allow me to do well,” Lowe said.
“We’re unfortunate enough to have gone through a difficult time which will hold me in good stead.”
Lowe added: “I think it’s brave of them to give me the job. Now it’s down to me to be brave to do what I need to do.”
Glory CEO Jason Brewer said it would have been easier for the club to appoint a foreign coach, but felt Lowe could lay the foundations to bring stability and long-term success.
“Never at any time did we want a band-aid solution,” Brewer said. “It would have been an easier decision to bring in a high-profile European coach.
“No doubt, people would have looked at that with words of support. It’s not about immediate success, it’s about getting the foundations right.”
On the club’s global search which ultimately landed Glory a coach on their door-step, Brewer added: “We can’t go on as a club making the mistakes we’ve made in the past.
“We’ve got to learn from situations we’ve been in. It was a thorough process.
“We had well over 50 applicants, we used an external group, ex-players and it was well publicised we used TV pundits as well.”
The new Glory boss insisted he would aim to improve the squad, promising to play an expansive and entertaining style, although he was coy on the futures of out-of-contracts veteran Shane Smeltz, Steve McGarry and William Gallas.
“You’ve got to get footballers. That’s the type of coach I am,” he said.
“I like guys who can play the game. We need to be energetic, competitive, quick ball-playing side.”
Brewer added expectations needed to be moderated under Lowe after 2013-14’s eighth-place finish.
“It’s about taking it one step at a time, not rush in and raise the expectation that we’ll be title contenders next year,” Brewer said.
“We’ve got to be realistic, we’re coming from a low point at the moment and we need to take a steady rise.”comments