Klug Not Surprised By Burley's Interest in Returning to Old Job
Friday, 4th May 2018 16:50
Caretaker-manager Bryan Klug wasn’t surprised to learn that former Blues boss George Burley has applied for his old job at Portman Road but says the question of the club’s new manager is not for him to comment upon.
“I’ve worked with George for a long time, I didn’t know he’s applied but that doesn’t surprise me,” Klug said when asked about Burley, 61, throwing his hat in the ring with another Blues legend Terry Butcher his proposed assistant.
“But I’ll leave that to Marcus. There’s lots of names being bandied about, it does my head in actually, and why shouldn’t they because it’s a fantastic job and it’s a fantastic football club so you’re going to get loads of people wanting to do it.”
Klug was a young player with Town when Burley was a member of Sir Bobby Robson’s team and was then in charge of the academy during the Scotland international’s time as Town boss between 1994 and 2002.
Would he be happy to work under Burley again if Evans was to pick him to return to the Portman Road hotseat?
“George is fine, he knows the club,” the temporary incumbent said. “When I was academy manager back then I think his record, and his record at Southampton, for young players speaks for itself.
“But, like I say, it’s not for me to comment on that, but George lives in Ipswich now, I see him regularly, so who knows? It’ll be down to the owner.”
Klug says he has spoken with Evans about the vacancy: “We’ve had discussions, as I say, I think Marcus has got his own ideas and the direction he wants the club to go in which is fine by me.”
He believes it should be no surprise that the club has received more than 100 applications in addition to recommendations Evans has sought from agents and senior figures in the game.
“I think there’s a lot to work with if you combine some good senior players with emerging talent and you’ve got a definite plan, which is what the owner seemed to say to me, and you can back yourself and you’ve got the coaching skills. Why wouldn’t you want the job?” he added.
Looking back to last week’s 4-0 win at Reading, Klug was delighted to get his first win in his short-term role under his belt and was pleased for everybody at the club after a tempestuous period.
“It was great for everyone after the turmoil of the last few weeks,” he said. “I think we’ve had a great response from the players, the staff and the fans have been brilliant.
“I think it was important for the club to get something out of the rest of the season, that was always the aim of it.”
He says owner Evans has called him after each match: “Yes, he phones after every game and he was obviously very pleased that he’d been able to get to Reading which is one of his local grounds and get a good result because it’s not been a particularly happy place for us.”
Reflecting on his three weeks in charge, he added: “I’m not sure enjoyment is the right word. When I was asked to do it there was no doubt that it was the right thing to do.
"I knew there were areas which weren’t particularly comfortable for me, I’ve been in the game for 40 years, so I know that.
“I think the club needed to reflect and think and change a few things and hopefully we’ve started to do that.”
Will it be a case of getting back to his normal job on Monday morning? “The task was to see us through these four games and obviously there’s still going to be a lot of planning and I’ll do whatever Marcus asks me to do.
“Whenever the new manager arrives we want everything to be in place as far as it can be. Obviously he’ll make a lot of other decisions about that, but there’s a lot of organisation to be done, as there is with the academy. It won’t be quite a case of ‘off to the beach’, it’ll be a few days’ work.”
Among the things which have to be planned is the pre-season programme, which he says fitness-coach Andy Liddell has been working on, former manager Mick McCarthy having previously revealed that the club has already booked the Carton House Hotel in Ireland for the now familiar week’s training, almost certainly followed by a game against a League of Ireland team.
“Andy Liddell [has organised that], that’s slotted into place,” he said. “Obviously the new manager might want to do something completely different, so we’ve got to be adaptable on that. We have a plan and whoever comes in it’ll be his plan then.
“There’s certain things you have to book up, you have to book up games now and stuff like that, so we’ll do as much of that as we can but I would expect a new manager might want to put his stamp on it.”
He says his assistants Gerard Nash and Chris Hogg - Burley's son-in-law - have excelled in their temporary roles: “All I can say is that the two lads who have coached alongside me have really, really impressed everybody, the players, myself, they’ve got great futures in the game, in my opinion.
“I think the club are lucky to have them and hopefully we can involve them in a way that challenges them and keeps them improving.
“I knew that my role was just for a few weeks but they’re capable of serving this club for a long time to come.”
He added: “I’ve seen them come through as players, I’ve seen them developing as coaches.
“They’ve really surprised me the way they’ve stepped up. I think if you talked to any of the players, they’ve done all the work, it’s nothing to do with me, and I think they’ve got a lot to offer.”
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