BARRY FERGUSON was confirmed as Alloa’s new manager today and said he wants the club to return to the Championship as League One winners.

Ferguson was unveiled by the club at a press conference at the Indodrill Stadium earlier today, May 27, and laid out his vision for the club.

He said: “On Monday a lad made contact with Kelty [Hearts, Ferguson’s previous club] and gave us permission. I spoke with the chairman on Monday night and had a good meeting with him on Tuesday.

“It’s a club, I think if you look at the managers over the years; Paul Hartley, Jim Goodwin, Jack Ross, they’ve always had good managers who have progressed in the game.

“Once I met the chairman and seen the facilities – it’s the right club for me at the right time.”

“Alloa have been a Championship club for the last few years. Disappointing season last season, obviously, being relegated, but I look around the squad and there’s a good core of players already signed up.”

Just days after Ferguson lead Kelty Hearts into the SPFL, he is now tasked with returning the club to the Championship.

Speaking exclusively to Advertiser Sport, Ferguson continued: “It’s been a whirlwind four days. I’m looking forward to it, it’s the right place at the right time for me.”

A core of more than 10 players have been re-signed and Ferguson said he’s happy with the players at the club and is looking to add a few more.

“I’m really happy with what’s been kept,” he continued. “Good quality players, if I can add good quality to help those players then hopefully we can have a successful season next season.

“Spirits will be a bit low, that’s natural with the relegation. It’s up to me to pick those spirits up and there’s no doubt I can do that.”

Despite the relegation, Alloa were praised last season by other Championship managers and those in the media – including Ferguson’s brother, Derek – for their positive style of play, and Ferguson said you only have to look at his previous side to see it’s a footballing style he’s keen on.

He added: “If you look at my Kelty team we were the same, we were positive, want to get the ball down and play.

“Obviously you can’t do that every single game, sometimes you’ve got to change the way you play but as I say, I’m not going to change too much, I just think we need to add a bit of quality to what’s already here and hopefully I can bring a bit of success back.”

Ferguson also confirmed two more players, Steven Hetherington and Liam Dick, will be leaving the club, adding to a list that includes Liam Buchanan, Adam Brown, Robert Thomson and Ray Grant.

“They wanted to go full-time,” he continued. “I knew that was maybe going to happen yesterday, and you can’t stop guys wanting to do that. I’d be disappointed if they went to another part-time team.

“Listen, I don’t know them, but you can never deny a professional footballer the opportunity to go full-time. Disappointed to lose them but we move on, there’s still good quality within the squad and I’ve identified where I need to go and strengthen and I’ve already started that as we speak. Last night on the phone I was making contact with a few players so we’ll see.

“Over the next two or three weeks it’s going to be busy, I’m going to try and take a couple of days off, I need a couple of days rest and then fire right back into it.”

Ferguson continued: “At the end of every season you lose players but what I’ve seen that’s been kept, there’s a good core which I’m really happy with.

“As I said, they’re players that I rate and I need to try and bring in that same sort of quality that’s already here and create a bit of competition. I’m looking forward to it, I can’t wait to get started. I’m sure it’s going to drag in, these next few weeks, but that then gives me a bit of time to go and hopefully get the right players in, because they need to fit into the way I want to play and they need to fit into the dressing room.

“I can’t wait to get started, it’s a good place for me at this stage in my career.”

That core that Ferguson refers to includes Andy Graham, Kevin Cawley, Alan Trouten and more who have committed to the club for another year.

“Important players, I know them, they’re players that I’ve always liked which always helps. The players that you mention plus others; [Stefan] Scougall, [Jon] Robertson, [Scott] Taggart, [Neil] Parry so there’s players I know really well, not personally but I know they’re good players, so as I say, we’ve got a good core group, I just need to make sure I add the right type of player and I’m sure I can do that.”

With the club’s younger players such as Lucas Williamson, Cameron O’Donnell and Liam Evans also committing their future, Ferguson said they’ll be involved.

“If a player’s good enough I don’t care about age,” he continued. “If they show me enough, that they’re capable, they’ll get the opportunity.”

Ferguson didn’t hesitate when he was asked what the ambition is, saying it’s to get back into the Championship, and said it’s a mentality he has to have.

He continued: “I’ve got to have that attitude, [the players too] and that’s the word that I’ll be putting to them, because I don’t want to come in here and say I’ll be happy to finish in the play-offs, for me that’s not good enough.

“If you ask anybody who knows me, I’ve got a strong mentality and the mentality I’ve got to have about this place is we need to have the mindset that we’re going to win the league.

“If you go in thinking you’ll be happy with the play-offs, I don’t think that’s the right attitude.”