Gill Enjoying Life at Town Working Under Lambert
Monday, 2nd Sep 2019 15:32
Blues first-team coach Matt Gill says he’s thoroughly enjoying working with boss Paul Lambert at Portman Road, having previously played under him - although very rarely - at Norwich.
Gill, who played for Lambert during his time in charge at Norwich, says he’s loving life with the Blues having moved to Town from the Canaries, where he was U23s coach, last October.
“I am, I really am,” he said. “It was a steep learning curve last year and tough times but I took loads from last season, took loads from it and I think that will help us this season when things may be a little bit tougher.
“I’m enjoying the wins and being where we are at the moment but there’ll be some tough times ahead. I think the experience we all gained from last season will help us no end.”
Having worked with Lambert as a player and now as part of his staff, has he noticed anything different? “I’m a little less scared of him now than I was before! I think our relationship is slightly different now, but only slightly.
“I’ve really enjoyed working with the gaffer, [assistant manager] Stuart [Taylor] and the rest of the staff and it’s an enjoyable environment at the moment.”
Has Lambert mellowed in the intervening years? “No, I think probably see his softer side slightly more than when I was a player, although I better make sure the players don’t know there’s a softer side to him! It’s been a good working relationship and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it.”
Gill, 38, says Lambert is happy to listen to different perspectives put over by members of his staff.
“We challenge him quite a lot and the discussions can become pretty heated but that’s what it’s about,” he said.
“There’s no separation once the decisions are make, which is vital within a working environment and I think that it’s really healthy that sometimes people have different opinions on stuff.
“He’s been really open as far as allowing us our opinions on team selection and the way we should play, so that’s been really good for me.”
After appointing Gill as his first-team coach at Town Lambert admitted that he’d rarely picked him in his team at Norwich.
“He didn’t.” Gill recalled. “I actually signed for Gunny [Bryan Gunn]. The gaffer then came in pretty quickly and I found it hard to get in the team, I’ll be brutally honest.
“They went on an unbelievable run, I think in the two years I was there they never lost two games on the spin, so you can hardly go knocking on the manager’s door. But obviously he saw something in me to stay in contact and eventually work for him.”
He says the two remained in touch after his playing career moved on from Norwich: “I was coming towards the end of my playing career, I was 30 when I left Norwich [in 2014], I signed for Bristol Rovers, we kept in contact, he went on to Villa. He allowed me to go into Villa to watch him work and I’ve been in to every club since.
“We’ve kept in contact, I think we built a pretty decent relationship while I was at Norwich and then when I left, so it was just one of those things that continued.
“He helped me with a few decisions I had to make, gave me advice on my coaching, so that’s how the relationship grew.”
Gill’s 2019/20 got off to a dramatic start when he was shown a red card on the opening day at Burton for kicking over a drinks cooler after keeper Tomas Holy had almost gifted the Brewers a late equaliser.
“Yes, I don’t know where that came from, if I’m totally honest.” Gill reflected. “Everyone builds up the first league game and I perhaps did a little bit.
“But you’ll be pleased it wasn’t aimed at an official, it was at one of our own players. Tomas was going to help me out paying half the fine but he hasn’t done that yet. He’s making out he can’t speak very good English when I go and speak to him!
“It’s unlike me, it has happened in the past, I have been sent off previously, but I normally leave it to Stuart and the gaffer to get pretty fiery. I’m normally the calm one, so it’s a tiny bit disappointing that I let myself down a little bit.”
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