Returning Sturrock targets promotion with Plymouth

Click to follow

New Plymouth manager Paul Sturrock has set his sights on promotion to the Premier League after making his return to Home Park.

The 51-year-old resumed control of the Greens 1,363 days after leaving to take charge of Southampton, then in the top flight.

Argyle agreed a compensation package with League One side Swindon Town today for Sturrock, as well as his management team of Kevin Summerfield and John Blackley.

The trio are now targeting the top tier with their new side sitting fourth in the Championship table.

"That's what we're down here for," said the Scot.

"At the end of the day, we're going to have a go. I can't promise you anything, but I can assure you that everybody on the staff will be working towards that.

"With the backing of the fans, which has always been fantastic, and the attitude and work-rate of the players, who knows what can be achieved? I'm just hoping to be honest, to make sure supporters know where I'm coming from."

Sturrock steered Argyle to League Two promotion in 2002 and enjoyed a successful three-and-a-half years from August 2000 to March 2004 – taking the club from the bottom division to the top of League One before joining the Saints.

"There was no way I would have left for any other standard than the Premier League," he added.

"I've been to 'the show', I've had a wee taste, I've pitted my wits against the top men.

"I think everybody has that ambition in them. Had it been even another Championship team, I wouldn't even have contemplated leaving because I have a dream for this football club, a long-term dream to take it where it would like to go."

His spell at Southampton was short-lived. After taking over from Gordon Strachan in March 2004 he left by mutual consent just over five months later.

Struggling Sheffield Wednesday was the next port of call in September 2004 where he led them to success in the League One play-offs and promotion to the Championship.

His tenure came to an end in October 2006 as the Owls struggled and he was replaced by Brian Laws, subsequently taking charge at League Two Swindon, where he was an instant hero after securing promotion last season.

"The one good thing that I have done since I've been away is that I pride myself on the fact that I have left teams I took over in a better shape than when I took them over."