GREENOCK JUNIORS manager Thomas Molloy says he’s aiming to exceed expectations this season and avoid a relegation battle.

Molloy took over at Ravenscraig Stadium earlier this month following the departures of Stevie Mooney and Stevie Dallas.

Greenock have struggled both on and off the field in recent years and many pundits predict another tough season ahead in the Central District First Division.

However, the new Nock boss says he wants to go beyond expectations and secure the club's survival early on in the season.

He said: “The committee have told me that there aim for this season is just to stay in the league but I’m aiming a bit higher.

“I’m not meaning to be disrespectful towards the committee, not at all, I’m just an ambitious guy.

“I’m not going to make any bold predictions about where we’ll finish but I want us to finish as high up the table as we can.

“I’m hoping we can secure our safety as early as possible. I know doing so won't be easy, but I’m confident we can do it.”

Molloy joined Greenock from amateur side Gourock Athletic after guiding them to the Scottish Central Division 1B title last season.

He’s chosen to bring in his Gourock colleague Ryan Harkness as well as ex-Kilmarnock and Morton defender Shaun Dillon to assist him.

Molloy added: “I’ve brought Ryan Harkness and Shaun Dillon in as my assistants. I’m good friends with them both and I think as a trio we can achieve great things.

“Ryan is brilliant at being a buffer between me and the players. He’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever worked with so It’s great to have him on board.

“Shaun, on the other hand, is an experienced pro who’s played at a high level so he has a lot of knowledge he can pass on to the players.”

The new Greenock gaffer has already done a fair amount of transfer business despite having only just taken over.

He has chosen to offer the majority of last season’s squad new contacts and he’s also brought in a few new faces.

Molloy says he feels it was only right to give the players that were already at the club a chance to prove themselves under the new regime.

He said: “I’ve re-signed seven players and I’m waiting to hear back from five others but I’m confident they will sign.

“I wanted to keep most of the players that were here last season as I feel they deserve a chance to keep their place in the team.”

Greenock have signed a total of seven new players, however, one signing stands out from the rest and that’s the capture of Glenn Thomson.

The 23-year-old midfielder has played at senior level with Dumbarton and Albion Rovers as well as in the Junior top flight with Largs.

Molloy says he’s delighted to sign Thomson and admits that Greenock wasn't the only team in the race for the youngster’s signature.

He said: “I’m over the moon to have been able to bring Glenn in, he’s a fantastic midfielder with a lot of experience.

“I know a few other clubs were in for him so I’m ecstatic that he’s chosen to come play for us this season.”

Molloy has also brought in three players from Gourock but insists he’s signing them on merit, not because they're his friends.

He said: “I’ve brought three players from Gourock with me, I’ve signed Steven Rush, Daniel Orr and Anton McLellan who was my caption.

“I’m confident all three of them will be able to make the step up and do a job for us because if I wasn’t then I wouldn’t have signed them.

“I’m not just signing them to make up the numbers or because I’m pally with them, I’m signing them because they're talented.”

Greenock have also signed Sean Jamieson (Greenock High School), Andrew McEwan (Greenock High School) and Ian Nixon (Free Transfer).