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O'Neill: Great Opportunity For Gill
Monday, 1st Mar 2021 15:27

General manager of football operations Lee O’Neill believes taking caretaker charge of the Blues is a good opportunity for first-team coach Matt Gill to add to his experience and could perhaps even put him in with a shout of the role permanently, but if not he and goalkeeper-coach Jimmy Walker will remain at the club under the next boss.

O’Neill says the 40-year-old had no qualms about taking up the reins despite having been brought to the club by departing boss Paul Lambert.

“We had conversations with Matt this morning, he’s a great guy first of all,” O’Neill said. “Obviously the manager brought him in but we’ve all seen really good things in Matt, even over the last two or three weeks he’s really helped Paul with Stuart [Taylor] not being at the games through the situation at home.

“It’s a great opportunity for him to get some experience in that first team side of things, as in taking the matches right from the start.

“It’s a great opportunity for him. I have no doubt that all the players will continue to do what they’ve been doing under Matt’s leadership and guidance.”

Asked whether he believes the Accrington game will be Gill’s only in charge, O’Neill said: “Again, I can’t tell you the length of time. Obviously, these things take a bit of time when you’re appointing a manager.

“Matt, as I spoke to him this morning, is more than capable of taking that game tomorrow evening and on Saturday and the following week as well if we need to.

“If the manager is appointed by Marcus before then, then obviously he’ll be in place, but if not, like I said, Matt and Bryan Klug will run that programme Saturday, Tuesday for the upcoming games.”

Might Gill get himself into the running for the job on a permanent basis if he picks up some good results? “I think it’s a really good opportunity for Matt to show other people at the football club what he’s about.

“Again, everything is on the table at the moment and there’s been no new manager appointed.

“And he’ll be looking at it as an opportunity for himself to see what he’s doing, I know he’s very keen on his coaching and he’s doing a very good job with the players, so I’m sure he’ll see it as an opportunity, and other people will get to see how good he is in different aspects of his role.”

Goalkeeper-coach Walker also remains from Lambert’s management team, and O’Neill says he and Gill will continue to be at the club under the next manager.

“Those two members of staff, Matt and Jimmy Walker, are great for the club, really good characters doing very good in their own roles in different areas,” he said.

“I think it’s important for the football club to have stability in those roles and they are developing so they are people we would want at the football club. So whoever the new manager may be, they are part of the club structure going forward.”

Asked whether they’re happy with that, O’Neill joked: “If not, they wouldn’t have got on the bus [to Accrington]! They are on the bus, and they are very much involved with the football club going forward.”

Many people anticipated that U23s coaches Kieron Dyer and Terry Butcher would be offered the caretaker roles once Lambert departed and O’Neill says they and Gerard Nash could have a role to play if a new boss isn’t brought in immediately.

“I think obviously they only found out themselves on Sunday evening and that’s a short period of time,” he said.

“I think if things go on longer and they are in charge for more games, then those people that you’ve just mentioned may well come into it and offer their support into that environment.

“We haven’t got a lot of opportunity to go out and do a lot of training between the game on Saturday and playing on the Tuesday night, so we spoke to Matt and obviously Bryan just to offer that little bit of experience that Bryan has.

“Kieron has stuff to offer, so does Gerard and so do some of the other coaches like Terry, like you mentioned.

“So if it goes on for a little bit longer, then obviously, yes, those people will be available to help out, but it just depends on Marcus and the appointment of the manager.”

Asked whether Kayden Jackson and Jon Nolan, who had been banished to the U23s, will be available again, O’Neill said: “They’ve been available. They’re both fit and ready to go, so they are both available if selected at the moment. Their situations have been well publicised over the last two or three weeks.

“Their situations will be looked at, whoever the new manager is coming in and obviously see what happens going forward.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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wkj added 15:35 - Mar 1
If he does well, I wouldn't be heartbroken to see him have an interview at least

blueconscience added 15:35 - Mar 1
Would make no odds whether it was Gill or Pep under Evans.

RobITFC added 15:39 - Mar 1
How can O'Neill say Gill and Walker will be at the club even though he claims no one has been lined up. He must know who the new manager is to make such a claim as new manager's want their own staff, so it must have already been agreed ?

SickParrot added 15:53 - Mar 1
Yes RobITFC, I was about to make the same point. The new manager must have already agreed to keep them on.

JoHnNnY added 16:15 - Mar 1
And so the charade continues - get the deal done and stop pretending anyone currently at the club has a say in “who’s in the running” 🙄🤦🏻🤷🏻‍♂️

Suffolkboy added 16:28 - Mar 1
Negativity has no place ; ME has previously guaranteed ongoing stability .indeed when the last two managers were appointed he insisted many at the Academy and at Playford Rd were to be kept in place !
RK was an ongoing disaster in man management terms ,and no great shakes as a Football Club leader ( BK shipped out despite an immaculate track record ) so ME certainly has shown judgement and loyalty !
Stay positive .believe , support and cheer on the oyster of ITFC !

therein61 added 16:32 - Mar 1
Perhaps it was Gill(with a bit of help from the dressing room) with a bit of footballing nous who finally got us playing to our strengths.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 16:48 - Mar 1
We will have a pretty good idea by the end of March

tractorlad01 added 16:50 - Mar 1
God I hope O’Neill gets lost soon. Absolute clown.

Lord_Mac added 16:53 - Mar 1
Surely this whole thing is just a smokescreen? Clearly we wouldn't have made the change at this particular time unless it was being forced by a new owner. Cook is the choice of the new owner and Evans is just a puppet on a string. You wouldn't make a change now unless negotiations were at an advanced stage, because you night end up having to make another change after just a few weeks. Thefre might be a few details to sort.

BlueForYou added 17:04 - Mar 1
What do you mean we couldnt have made a change? Lamberts position was completely untenable, & he was totally lost & having no influence as a manager. It was critical that we make a change & very glad that we have. We have uncovered Gill who has stepped up & we have a potential in Cook who clearly "wants" to come here. Good signs & something tells me were going to improve now.

Bluejake added 17:09 - Mar 1
I agree Lord Mac. Cook has been linked with the job ever since a potential takeover came to light. I feel sure that the new owners have already approved Cook’s appointment and as for the takeover I reckon there might not be a deal on the table formally but it’s agreed in principle and just needs some legal details to be finalised.

TractorRoyNo1 added 17:31 - Mar 1
I hope the ventriloquist pays him well.

FramlinghamBlue added 18:00 - Mar 1
Lee O’Neill is an embarrassment. Other clubs have chief executives and managing directors who have authority and gravitas. We have Lee O’Neill who is a PE teacher that’s fallen on his feet. He must be for the chop with the new owners.

Marcus Evans shows the little respect he has for the club by not making himself available for interview today.

hollywoodginge added 18:16 - Mar 1
Apparently, Gill and Walker were at odds with Lambert and Taylor for a while now. Probably to do with the Henry fall out. It’s worth remembering, Gill has a big reputation in the game, and was very highly regarded up the road. They were spitting when we got him!! With Cook’s usual assistants making there own way in the game it’s highly unlikely they will join him so I’m sure he’s open to working with Gill. He will surely know about his reputation and could form a formidable alliance. If or when Cook is announced, it’s worth noting, he plays 4231, so it’s likely we will see us in that shape again. If played the right way it’s never 1 up front, so hopefully he can get us playing the right way.

blues1 added 18:30 - Mar 1
Framlinghamblue. Yet another so called fan who doesnt realise just how much lee oneill does at this club. Hes coached in america, as we as for suffolk county council, a former town player, (as was his father), and several academic qualifications covering the other roles he fills at the club. Also for the record, an ipswich fan. But you just keep abusing a fellow town fan.

blues1 added 18:34 - Mar 1
Robitfc/sickparrot. No, ur wrong. Clubs often keep certain members of staff at the club when the manager leaves. Evan's did when Lambert joined. It helps to keep some continuity between the old and new regime. Helps the new people settle in. And as it appears these 2 are somewhat responsible for the upturn in form over the past few games, it seems a good idea to keep them involved.

FramlinghamBlue added 18:52 - Mar 1
Blues1 - Lee o Neill is in the wrong job - another parrot for ME

Carberry added 22:41 - Mar 1
Gill may be a very nice bloke but let's not kid ourselves. He had no experience of 1st team coaching when he came here from up the road and now finds himself in charge. Another master stroke from Evans/ O'Neill. Blues1, when a serious manager is appointed they bring their own staff, continuity is nothing to do with it. Oh and O'Neill did coaching for Suffolk County Council did he? Well what a great qualification to put on your CV to run a football club. It may have slipped your notice but the proposed takeover suggests serious, experienced football Executives to run the club, something we've never had under Evans's reign. Come on wake up.

Oldozblue added 03:06 - Mar 2
Seems that Lee O'Neil is getting his retaliation in early because his position must be insecure if there are new owners. In my dealings, hard nosed US owners like lawyers with MBAs as very commercially focused General Managers.

bobble added 09:03 - Mar 2
the first bloke to be sent off at the new wembley stadium for a head butt ,deserves his chance as our manager.
he only has to do better than the dark lord ,whathisname ,paul hurts ,and paul lamebert couldnt be that hard really, !
i think burley or butcher or magilton or dyer etc could do way better so this punk drummer bloke has a good chance..

bobble added 09:04 - Mar 2
damn,#@@@^%(*(() we cant even vote ourselves down...how many rums will it take to fix all this ?

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