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O'Neill Not Surprised By Nash Interest
Thursday, 12th Sep 2019 18:28

General manager of football operations Lee O’Neill says it’s no surprise that Town’s academy coaches are interesting other clubs, U23s manager Gerard Nash having been in the running for the boss’s job at League of Ireland side St Patrick’s Athletic.

Nash, whose side topped the Professional Development League Two South table last season, spoke to St Pat’s, from his hometown of Dublin, for a second time last month - they previously showed interest last October - but ultimately the role was given to former Dundalk midfielder Stephen O’Donnell.

“I think we’ve got some really good young coaches, so it’s no surprise to me, as is the case with players, that the phone rings and there are managers or owners wanting to speak to some of our staff,” O’Neill said.

“They’ve been at the club a long time and they’re part of the furniture or the identity so I think he [Nash] recognises that we’re all trying to improve on things and it’s going in the right direction and he wants to be part of that.

“From my point of view it’s great, it’s no surprise to me that a club like that wanted to speak to him and whether it’s [former U18s assistant manager] Kieron [Dyer], Gerard, Hoggy [U23s assistant manager Chris Hogg], [U18s manager] Adem [Atay], all of those people, I think in general clubs will want to speak to them at some point because in my opinion I think they’re very good at their jobs.”

Manager Paul Lambert reiterated that he wouldn’t have stood in Nash’s way if he had got the St Pat's job: “He told me the situation so there wasn’t a problem. If Nashy wanted to go and thought it was right, then no problem. I wouldn’t every stand in anybody’s way to leave a club.”

O’Neill, who is also Town’s academy manager, says the club are yet to find a replacement for Dyer, who moved on last month to try to find a role coaching at U23s or senior level.

“Not at this moment in time,” he added. “It’s unfortunate, from my point of view, that Kieron’s wanting to look at other things, but I completely understand that.

“I think it’s a time to look at what’s out there. We’ve actually got a few positions at the academy that we’re recruiting for at the moment, so we’re going to work through that recruitment process.

“What that has allowed is some more people internally to get some more experience in certain things, so at this moment in time we’re not going out there and recruiting a replacement for Kieron.

“At some point Kieron or someone else might come back into the mix, we’ll definitely look at it but at this moment in time we’re leaving that open.”

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