Neil McDonald, formerly Sam Allardyce's No 2 at Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United, has taken the reins at Limerick FC and vowed to leave a legacy by making the Super Blues an "A star club".

Martin Russell parted company with the Airtricity League Premier Division club by mutual consent two weeks ago, just six games into the new campaign.

After they suffered the drop in 2014, Russell led Limerick back to the top flight at the first attempt.

His exit came after a patchy start to the season, with a club statement saying: "The board and Martin had a meeting this morning. Following a discussion we mutually agreed to go our separate ways.  

"The board and Martin subsequently met the players to inform them of Martin’s departure."

Last Saturday's 1-1 draw with Derry City at Markets Field left them sixth in the league.

Former Newcastle United and Everton defender McDonald has managed Carlisle United, Swedish outfit Ostersunds FK and Blackpool.

He linked up with Mike Phelan as his assistant last October but left just three months later after Phelan's sacking.

McDonald now completes an unlikely circle with Allardyce, who was player-manager at Limerick in the early 90s.

"I’m very, very impressed with what the club is trying to do and how it’s trying to progress," said the new boss.

"I’m sure it’s one of the clubs in Ireland that is on the up. I would like to be part of that to push it on to a new level - that’s why I’ve come. I’ve committed myself to the club on a long-term project.

"Everybody I’ve spoken to and I’ve been involved with since I came across on Monday speaks very, very highly of the football club.

"We’re trying to push Limerick into being an A-star football club, all the way through from youth to first team.

"The aspirations of where they want to get to is a great project and certainly one that I want to be heavily involved with, to leave a legacy and push the club to boundaries that they’ve been before."

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