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Gill: Takeover Came As a Surprise But It's Exciting, Massive For the Club
Saturday, 10th Apr 2021 18:34

First-team coach Matt Gill admits that news of Town’s takeover came as a surprise to him when it was announced on Wednesday but says it’s exciting and a massive thing for the club. Gill was asked to cover the post-match press conference by manager Paul Cook, who also skipped Friday’s pre-match meeting with the media.

Reflecting on the 0-0 draw with the MK Dons, the Blues’ second successive stalemate with three of the last four Town matches having ended goalless, Gill said: “A good clean sheet, another clean sheet. There are lots of positives to take from today. We need to be slightly better in the attacking half, obviously.

“Show a little bit more care in moments where we can make better decisions maybe. But lots to take away from today and take it into Tuesday.”

Regarding Town’s lack of a goals, an issue throughout the season, he added: “We are working immensely hard to improve our attacking play. I think we’re in a stage of the season where we want to keep clean sheets, of course. But we also need to punch at the other end of the pitch.

“We tried something slightly different with Aaron [Drinan] and Dobs [Armando Dobra], who did great, so that gives us another option.”

Asked whether that was something which came from their performances in training, he said: “The manager wants players to train extremely hard, some of the boys have been playing U23s football to make sure their fitness is up to scratch and all the staff have seen something from those boys to play today, and obviously it’s the manager’s call.

“They deserve a huge amount of credit for what they did today and we just have to make sure that we take lots of the stuff into Tuesday.”

Kayden Jackson wasn’t included in the 18. Quizzed on whether the striker, who had started the last two games, was fit and well having not been involved, Gill said: “No, not today. Tristan made the bench today, which is brilliant for him. What he’s gone through the last 18 months to two years, to be back and firing, and everyone in that dressing room is so pleased to have him back involved and huge credit to him and the medical team.”

Nydam, who returned to competitive action two years to the day after his last senior match, made an impression when coming on in the second half.

“There’s nobody going to be just making up the numbers or just sentiment in anyone making an appearance at this football club, what we’re involved in is too big,” Gill continued. “We need to be collecting points and wins between now and the end of the season.

“We were trying to press a little bit more in the second half, trying to get on that front foot a little bit more.

“Bish and Doz had done that superbly with Flynn in the first half, it’s just about using the five subs, getting energy on to the pitch and using it to your advantage.”

Gill was also pleased to see Flynn Downes return to the team after a month out with a hamstring injury.

“Brilliant wasn’t he?” Gill enthused. “Him as an addition into the squad or any team is going to be a positive and it was really good to see him out there today.”

Asked how far off James Norwood and Kane Vincent-Young are from returning to the side, he said: “They’ll be assessed tomorrow when everyone’s back in. As you can imagine, everyone in the squad is trying to get fit and trying to add some value to the squad on the run-in.”

Town remain eighth, three points off the play-offs with seven now to play and Gill says the opportunity is still there for the team to make the top six.

“That’s right, seven games, a real opportunity to get ourselves in that play-off mix, with a little bit of momentum,” he said.

Quizzed on where manager Cook was, Gill responded: “I think he’s chatting to a few players in there at the moment and he asked me to come and do it.”

Turning to the takeover of the club, the first-team coach said: “For me, it’s been pretty similar. Train the boys, get on the training pitch, try and add some energy in and around the training ground. The lads know they’re close to trying to achieve something between now and the end of the season.

“I think that it was only announced Wednesday and as far as the training ground at the moment, nobody’s seen anything different. It’s just business as usual for us and obviously it’s exciting times ahead for the club.

“It was a surprise for me. Obviously I’m not privy to conversations that happen upstairs. As first-team coach I try and stay away from all that.

“I think that it was a surprise for lots of us. But, like I said, exciting times and everyone is just concentrating on what they need to do, sort of stay in your lane and do your job and try and add some value to what we’re trying to achieve.”

Has it been unsettling? Has he been at a club where there has been a takeover previously? “I think I’ve been in football long enough to know it’s an unsettling industry, you do your job to the best of your ability and it is an exciting time for the club, it is a massive thing.

“I’ve not been involved in a takeover before. It’s just about doing what you get paid for, doing your job, trying to add some value to what’s going on and hopefully we can have a positive end to the season.”

Despite another 0-0 draw, Town’s overall situation remains the same in the final weeks of the season, starting away at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday.

“There are going to be loads of ups and downs between now and the end of the season even now it’s only seven games,” Gill reflected.

“We’ve got an opportunity again on Tuesday, win on Tuesday, it’s four points from the two games, you move on quickly. It’s important that we’re positive on Tuesday and really try to win the game.”

Photo: TWTD

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boroughblue added 18:39 - Apr 10
I must admit, I’m starting to worry about Cook. Two no shows at press conferences after a takeover that he allegedly didn’t know about, is there a risk of him walking or something? Since he was so keen to work under ME and happy with that set up. Hopefully I’m overthinking this and misreading things, but the last two days haven’t looked great

cromwellblue added 18:39 - Apr 10
The absence of Cook speaking is a concern

VanDusen added 18:40 - Apr 10
Still in it. Just. But lose next Saturday and that will probably be it. Sure hope that indicates Norwood and KVY might be back by then...

barrystedmunds added 18:40 - Apr 10
“Loads of ups and downs”! I’m seeing only downs.

TimmyH added 18:44 - Apr 10
“A good clean sheet, another clean sheet. There are lots of positives to take from today. We need to be slightly better in the attacking half, obviously. - he's been reading from the same post match hymn sheet as PC talking about 'positives'. From where I'm sitting the only positives I can take is that there hasn't been 15,000 odd people trudging home wishing they did something else this afternoon.

Bert added 18:44 - Apr 10
I have no problem with Cook asking Gill to do the post match interview. It’s a team effort and too much attention is given to the manager. That said, I didn’t see many positives from today’s performance.

Talbs77 added 18:49 - Apr 10
I think it speaks volumes we haven’t heard 1 word from Cook since this weeks announcement.

You can read into all sorts, is he upset he wasn’t told or aware when Evans got him to sign for club? Allegedly he was told investment rather than takeover.

After what happened to him at Wigan is he adding 2+2 and coming up with 5?

Has he been told he must at least make top 6 this season or else?

How many Managers survive a takeover? One thing I did agree with Paul Lambert on.

Either way something smells here big time. I think it would be harsh to get rid of Cook none of this is of his making and I think he’s the right fit with time and investment.

stiff_talking added 18:55 - Apr 10
Take a surprise? TWTD predicted it 4 days prior !

SamWhiteUK added 18:55 - Apr 10
The new Chairman has said that Cook was their first choice, I wouldn't read too much into it. It would hardly be a good look to lie about that and let him go the next week. I'm almost certain Cook will have known about the takeover possibly happening, I just can't see it any other way

Suffolkboy added 18:59 - Apr 10
It’s only too easy to overthink things ,but it is strange not to see PC fronting anything this weekend .
There is, however , no doubt there’s going to be a pretty comprehensive cutting assessment of playing assets ,and we might well see names on the ‘out ‘ list very shortly .That would be quite realistic for many wouldn’t be at all useful at a higher level ( even if that came out of the blue ) and
PC has himself been clear he prefers clarity and players to know where they stand
No doubt snippets will emerge. : both the new owners and the new Chairman in particular appear experienced and thoroughly businesslike .Could it be there’s already a detailed statistical assessment and appraisal of existing players ?
We shall see !

jas0999 added 18:59 - Apr 10
Bizarre that Cook didn’t show. I also find it odd that no one at the club expected the takeover. All very very strange.

BangaloreBlues added 18:59 - Apr 10
I do not know why so many are concerned that PC hasn't done the interview.
We see many times on MOTD the manager not doing the interview when they are utterly furious with their team, and they are likely to accidentally blurt out a few expletives if they did.
I think people are looking too much into this, but that's just my opinion.
As for those suggesting he is worried for his job, if you saw the main interview with Mike, he said that - and I will have to paraphrase - "Cook looked concerned when he came into the office, but he relaxed when he understood that both Evans and I had PC down as number one choice".
So, there is no chance of PC losing his job. He may, of course, wish to leave himself, but that would be unlikely knowing what he has in front of him - shed loads of money and the chance to build his own team.
He is also having to go with two up front which is not his normal team formation, but we don't have the players to go with one up front. Even three up front wouldn't make any difference. It must be massively frustrating for him - he probably wants to make a good impression but his hands are tied with this team.
And we would have been in 4th place had we not dropped points against Wigan, Rochdale, and MK Dons. So near, yet so far...

EricGatesShinpad added 19:00 - Apr 10
I really hope I am wrong but my gut feeling tells me all is not well with PC.
We have definately got the right Manager, its the players that are wrong.
I am keeping everything crossed as losing PC I think will be a disaster. His attitude towards the club and the fans has been spot on and I think the vast majority of the fans are 100% behind him.
Lets hope nothing stupid happens between now and Tuesday.....

arc added 19:04 - Apr 10
It could hardly be a surprise if after a month Cook has realised that the squad is nothing like as good as he thought it was—that individual players who promise so much just aren't up to it, the squad ethos is poor, and two thirds of the players are out of contract. He may have had no idea just what a difficult job he'd undertaken and may be tempted to use the pretext of the takeover to find a way out. We really are a mess right now—it's astonishing that we're still in with a shout of the playoffs.

dav86 added 19:05 - Apr 10
It seems like cook is having a good look at his players, forget playoffs, decide who he wants to keep for next season, none on that showing

blues1 added 19:10 - Apr 10
Jas0999. Why the hell is it bizarre that cook didnt do the press conference. It happens at pretty .uch every club that it's not always the manager who does the press conference after the match. In this case, I wouldnt be surprised if he was going to see Oleary after the game, thus asked gill to do the press conference in his place. And no, it's no surprise that others at the club wouldnt have known about the takeover. There is a confidentiality clause around these things, as Oleary said in the press conference during the week, so the less people who knew about it the better. Less chance of it being leaked beforehand.

budgieplucker added 19:14 - Apr 10
Evans told us not believe everything we read. Really?

PC was on record to say that he spoke to MM about the job and it was the relationship with ME that sealed the deal with him.

With due diligence things cannot be said, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Cook whilst thinking ME was bringing in some financial backers as partners he was completely unaware that ME would be completely out of the loop and understandably that he now works for people he doesn’t know. I can well understand how he may well be pi**ed off. With Preston looking for a new manager he may well have grounds for taking the job with Town under misrepresented conditions.

I would not be at all surprised to see a new manager sooner than we think.

im_marcacus added 19:19 - Apr 10
Oh God.. Wimbledon away last season...


Phil1969 added 19:19 - Apr 10
Who cares bring on the next one. He seems a decent guy so is Lambert. £££ must equal results the audition over the last few weeks hasn’t inspired. It’s easy to blame ALL the players but we have some talent they just aren’t playing for Cook.

Hipsterectomy added 19:19 - Apr 10
I’ve heard that PC has resigned and we are in for Phil Brown

ImAbeliever added 19:20 - Apr 10
Perhaps Didier is talking to Frank lol

blues1 added 19:28 - Apr 10
Hipsterectomy. God u talking crap. Will that be the phil brown who's just been appointed as the new southend manager? Some people on here are a total joke. It's very likely he had a meeting with Oleary arranged to discuss things further about the future. As hed been tied up with training the last few days. So would be their 1st chance to have a proper conversation. Maybe even giving him a list of players he wants to sign for next season, and maybe those he doesnt want to keep. (That could be a long list).

TimmyH added 19:37 - Apr 10
blues1 - keep condemning people's posts, you seem good at that...always taking the higher ground as if you know best.

ChrisR added 19:39 - Apr 10
Mick Mills had it right saying that the Manager should be there to answer questions on the takeover , at least to say he backs it .
Yes too early for details , but he needed to show support to his new employers , how hard would that be?
Something not right here , could be the size of the job with our useless non scoring squad is apparent , needing an excuse to jump ship ??

SickParrot added 19:53 - Apr 10
If PC was not aware of the possible takeover, he is understandably aggrieved that he was misled by Evans, but that only proves that his faith in Evans was misguided. I hope he embraces the changes that Gamechanger want to make because I am confident that they will lead success. I would expect PC to want to be a part of it but if he doesn't he may regret it.

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