New Cork City manager Neale Fenn admitted it was tough leaving Longford Town so close to the end of the season but said the opportunity to manage his old club was too good to turn down. 

Fenn's departure from promotion chasing Longford was an open secret all last week with assistant Daire Doyle taking the side for their dramatic FAI Cup clash with Bohemians on Friday. 

His departure was officially announced on Saturday with confirmation of his role as the new Cork City boss widely touted as imminent. 

Fenn was duly announced as the new Cork City manager this afternoon, the club where he enjoyed such success as a player in the mid-noughties, winning a league title under manager Damien Richardson in 2005.

With the midlanders still scrapping hard for promotion with three games of the regular season left and a likely playoff series to come, Fenn admitted it was tough to depart but said he couldn't risk another candidate swooping for the Cork job while he left them waiting. 

"It was tough to leave Longford, especially at this stage of the season," Fenn told RTÉ 2fm's Game On. 

"But it was Cork City and it was my club. As soon as the interest was there, I had to do what I did. I'm just really excited. We trained today and the players looked sharp and re-invigorated and I can't wait. 

"It wasn't 'pressure' but it was (a case of) this is it, the job's here now. I couldn't run the risk of someone else getting it. And then come the end of the season, I'm looking at someone else taking the job and I'm looking from afar, saying I wish I had that job.

"I'm a football manager and I'm on my Pro Licence to become a full-time football manager. This has given me an opportunity to do that.

"As much as I really enjoyed my time at Longford and I'm thankful for everything they did for me, this was just too good an opportunity to turn down."

Fenn said he would be keen to bring new players to Cork ahead of 2020 but stressed there is enough quality in the team currently for them to be much higher up the table.

"It looks to me like it's confidence. They haven't turned into bad players overnight. I was at the game on Friday (against Galway) and there was a lot of safe passes, keeping the ball. 

"Players looked scared to express themselves because that's what happens when you're near the bottom of the table. You're getting a little bit of stick from supporters, you're hearing things off the radio down here, you're looking at social media. So, you can see why the boys are playing with a lack of confidence.

"I've gone in today and told them all it's a clean slate and I want to see them all taking risks and playing with a little more confidence and with a smile on their face.

"I certainly will be looking to bringing players in and players that will be able to play the way I want to play. But certainly, to achieve results this season, there's enough quality here to be doing better and that's not a criticism of any past managers or past coaches.

"It's just at the moment, the boys are playing with a lack of confidence and a lack of belief. Hopefully, til the end of the season, I can bring that back and we'll start getting results."