After making a return to Bath City, new manager Gary Owers is adopting a “safety first” mentality as the club looks to climb away from the Vanarama National League South relegation zone.

The Romans currently sit in eighteenth place in the league table, two places and five points above the drop zone.

Owers began his managerial career with City in 2003 and is now back with the club after spells with the likes of Gateshead, Forest Green Rovers and Motherwell.

And he has only one thing on his mind; escaping relegation.

“Safety first is the objective.

You look at the run we have been on and we have won two of the last eighteen games. It’s hardly promotion or play-off form, it’s form that takes you out of the division at the wrong end.

We need to get enough points as quickly as possible and get this club moving forward once we have done that”

By taking the role with City, Owers makes a return to the managerial role after nine years spent as an assistant manager and a Head of Recruitment.

Having worked alongside the likes of Malcolm Crosby (pictured right), John Sheridan and Kevin Dillon, he feels that he is “better equipped” to return to the lead role in the dugout.

“I think I am better equipped to be a manager now.

My first spell as a manager I was just coming off the back of my playing career and now I have had many thousands of hours working on the training pitch, with some very very knowledgable people”

This was an opportunity that popped up and my last three jobs were Gateshead, Plymouth Argyle and Motherwell. I still live in Bristol so there has been too much time on the road.

Management is about opportunity and I spoke to the chairman, he offered me the role and it was an opportunity I felt I should take”

In Owers’ first game of his second spell in charge of City, they gained a valuable point at promotion chasing Sutton United.

Despite going a goal down to an early Ross Stearn goal, an Elliot Richards penalty two minutes before half time was enough to secure a point.

On the horizon for the former Sunderland player(pictured left in his time with the North East club) and his new side is a crucial relegation clash against St Albans City, with the Saints currently sat second from bottom of the National League South.

owers safcOwers is hopeful that his side can at least match their work rate at Sutton and break down a side that he believes will be looking to frustrate his side.

“All of the games will be hard, I am not really too sure how much difference there is between any of the sides in the division, whether they are at the top or the bottom of the league.

I want the lads to work as hard as they did at Sutton, possibly a little bit harder because they will have to break down a side who won’t want to lose the game first and foremost”

After a week of assessing his new squad Owers confirmed that he is looking to add to his options.

The loss of loan defender Jack Batten – who has returned to SkyBet Championship club Bristol City – has freed up space to bring in another player on a temporary basis.

And after adding Newport County’s experienced centre back Matt Taylor, Owers is now looking to add another defender to bring in another defender.

“I am up to the maximum I can be in terms of loan players in my squad. Jack Batten is back with Bristol City and that loan can’t be extended so I am probably on the lookout for another centre half.

Although I have brought in Matt Taylor from Newport County, he can’t play at the moment because we are awaiting international clearance but I think if I was to add anything else to the squad the priority has to be a centre half”

Interview: Mark Carruthers

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