|Accrington Stanley 1 v 2 Ipswich Town|
SkyBet League One
Tuesday, 2nd March 2021 Kick-off 19:00
Gill: Proud of the Lads
Tuesday, 2nd Mar 2021 22:22
Caretaker-manager Matt Gill was proud of the Blues following their 2-1 victory at Accrington Stanley, his only game in charge with new boss Paul Cook watching from the stands.
“I thought the lads were great, I thought they really stuck together,” said Gill, who was assisted in the dugout with academy head of coaching and player development Bryan Klug.
“Obviously they made a little bit of a slow start, a little bit of a nervous start but really, really pleased with them that they stuck together and I’m chuffed for them that they got the three points they deserved.”
He added: “It’s never easy coming here, they’re always bang up for a physical battle and I think the lads coped with that well.
“Obviously we would have liked to have been a little bit better on the ball in the second half especially, been a little bit more controlling with our possession, but I think the lads, how they’ve handled the last 24 hours and beyond, they’ve done brilliantly and I’m just really pleased for them.
“I’m really proud of the lads for sticking at it. A really slow start, going 1-0 down away from home on a cold Tuesday night but they’ve really stuck together.
“James missed his penalty and we had a couple of other chances which perhaps could have gone in but they really stuck with it and they deserve all the credit tonight because they stuck to the task and carried out the performance we all wanted.”
Regarding the penalty incident which saw Seamus Conneely red-carded for felling Troy Parrott, Gill said he hadn’t seen it again but Accrington were livid with referee Bobby Madley.
“They were furious about the decision,” he said. “If you make a genuine attempt for the ball, you don’t get sent off.
“I’ve not watched it back but I think they watched it at half-time and they’re quite angry about the decision, but it’s something I can’t really impact or affect.”
Reflecting on the last few days with former manager Paul Lambert departing on Sunday, Gill added: “The players have shown that they’re really resilient. They prepared for the game properly, we obviously came up here yesterday. They’ve been really supportive of everything they’ve tried to do.
“I’ve had some brilliant support from Bryan, [general manager of football operations] Lee [O’Neill] and [goalkeeper-coach] Jimmy Walker and then obviously the new manager popped his head in today. I think the lads have gone about their work really professionally.”
Gill had praise for again impressive central defensive pairing Toto Nsiala and James Wilson, who scored his first goal for the Blues, the ninth of his senior career and his first since netted for Lincoln on October 2018.
“They have done and I think we’ve now got four centre-halves that can be called upon, and even Chambo when needed to fill in in there,” he continued.
“I think that all the lads deserve loads of credit for the way they perform, trained and supported each other, even those players that are not in the XI, they’ve supported each other through the last three or four weeks.”
Regarding departed boss Lambert, he said: “Obviously I’ll be forever grateful to Paul for bringing me to this club. I’ve had two and a bit years really enjoying working with him and it’s something I’ll forever be grateful for.
“I’ve 100 per cent concentrated on preparing the players for this game so I haven’t had much time to think, just really pleased for the players that they’ve won the game.”
He says to two talked on Monday: “I spoke to him yesterday. We’ve got loads of respect for each other and, like I said, I’ll be forever grateful that he brought me to this football club and he was just wishing me well for the game.”
Gill, who had previously been in charge for one game as a caretaker at Tranmere in 2014, says Cook allowed him and Klug to run matters this evening.
“He pretty much left it to us, he said that we’d prepared the players, the game plan and the starting XI,” he said.
“He dipped his head in at half-time to give some words of encouragement and made one or two tweaks, which is obviously his prerogative being the manager.”
He says Cook, who was confirmed as boss at midday today, was delighted that the Blues had continued their recent good form.
“He’s just really pleased,” he said. “It just keeps that momentum going, three wins on the spin and he’s looking forward to working with the players, I’d imagine.”
Gill believes the Blues have got themselves into a position where they are in with a shout of being in the end-of-season shake-up. The sit seventh, two points off the play-offs with a game in hand on sixth-placed Doncaster.
“We have, what is it, 16 games to go?” he reflected. “We’ve given ourselves a fighting chance of being where we want to be. The lads need to continue doing what they’ve been doing for the last few weeks, and I’m sure they will.”
Regarding his own position, Gill confirmed he would be remaining with the Blues: “Yes, I’ve been asked to stay on, so I’m looking forward to working with the new manager.”
Gill says he’s not had time to think about anything further than today’s match: “Like I said, I’ve not really had much time to think about it. One hundred per cent of my concentration was on tonight’s game and I’m sure I’ll have a good sleep on the coach on the way back.”
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