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McGreal Confirmed as Interim Manager
Monday, 6th Dec 2021 10:45

Town have confirmed the appointment of former defender John McGreal as interim manager following Paul Cook’s sacking on Saturday, and that the former boss’s coaching team, Gary Roberts, Franny Jeffers, Ian Craney and John Keeley, have also left the club.

McGreal, who rejoined the club last week as an U23s coach, will be assisted by Rene Gilmartin, his deputy during his short spell as manager at Swindon in the summer, U23s manager Kieron Dyer and head of academy goalkeeping Carl Pentney.

The club say the 49-year-old “will be in charge of Town for Tuesday night’s trip to Charlton”, suggesting his tenure may not be too long.

All McGreal's games as manager were at Colchester, one game as caretaker in 2015 and a spell between 2016 and 2020 during which time the U's were in League Two. In his 204 matches in charge, he saw the North Essex side to 76 wins, 55 draws and 73 defeats.

He saw the U's to eighth, 13th, eighth and sixth in his seasons in charge with the latter campaign ending in play-off semi-final defeat.

Dubliner Gilmartin is a former keeper, who played for Walsall, Plymouth and Colchester, during McGreal's time in charge of the U's, among a number of others.

The 34-year-old will be well-known to CEO Mark Ashton having been a back-up keeper at Bristol City for two years until the summer. He has also worked as the Republic of Ireland U21s coach since 2019.

Departing first-team coach Roberts, a Town winger under Jim Magilton, was appointed to his role by Cook in March, hanging up his boots as he did so having been in his third spell at Accrington Stanley.

Jeffers joined as another first-team coach in the summer from Everton, where he had been coaching their U23s, while Craney was recruited as a coach at the same time having previously worked with Cook at Wigan as kitman, although the Blues manager subsequently said that while that was his job title with the Latics that wasn’t his job, that was the only way to get him on to his staff.

Keeley also moved to the Blues in the summer having previously worked with Cook at Portsmouth.

Photo: Action Images

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Ipswichbusiness added 10:47 - Dec 6
The new owners are certainly decisive!

itfcserbia added 10:47 - Dec 6
If these two were Cook's staff from the start the whole story would have probably been different. Good luck lads.

itfcserbia added 10:48 - Dec 6
I meant Dyer and McGreal. Don't know who Gilmartin is.

Nobbysnuts added 10:49 - Dec 6
Good. A complete clear out of those numpties was required. Good luck John. A proper geezer.

richardpaul added 10:58 - Dec 6
So it would appear that this was planned Cook was told that anything less than 3 convincing wins would not be enough and he would have to go leaving Mcgreal already in position to take the job on as an interim measure This is what the cynic in me sees

Kingfisher49 added 11:04 - Dec 6
People appointed who by and large know and understand ITFC and also who supporters can trust which is a flying start. Just hope the next month goes well for them and we will see which players really want to play for their shirts. Everyone of the players starts from square one and hard work and dedication is needed from all our players to not only earn a shirt but keep hold of it. And hopefully a formation to please the eye and get supporters wanting to watch week in week out. Our season is going to be defined in the next four or five weeks. Hopefully pushing for a play off place and into the third round of the FA Cup. Come on you blues.

ThaiBlue added 11:07 - Dec 6
Good luck mcgreal and dyer cant be any worse than the clowns who just left.

boroughblue added 11:08 - Dec 6
his face in the picture sums up how underwhelmed I am by this, get rid of a heavily proven manager at this level and replace him with a mid table league 2 manager (even on interim). Hope you're happy Cook outers, nothing like a 'project' in football these days is there...

This isn't Ipswich, pulling the plug on managers who haven't had enough time, just hope the owners and Ashton know what they are doing

ThaiBlue added 11:11 - Dec 6
Also marc bircham bookies fav for new manager,dont no much about him to be fair.

Europablue added 11:11 - Dec 6
I don't know much about McGreal's management philosophy, anyway I don't think that really matters as he is just going to be the caretaker manager. We need some proper old Ipswich players like McGreal and especially Dyer, rather than an ex loan player and a bit part player. The new manager must make sure not to bring in a load of scousers (or other countrymen) and give the impression of a takeover ignoring what makes the club special.
McGreal should at least be aware that Cambridge is not a local derby!

DavoIPB added 11:16 - Dec 6
Sorry Kingifsher49, McGreal plays exactly the same formation as Paul Cook and doesn't change it.

Europablue added 11:18 - Dec 6
Cook wasn't fired to bring in McGreal. I hate seeing us as a sacking club and I'm always willing to give a manager time. I've been supportive of Cook for this reason, but the signs were there to see. I think in this case it wasn't just a case of league position, but also a feeling that Cook was so out of touch with the club and fans with ridiculous actions like coming out to the applause of the fans like a manager like Robson or Burley actually earned, bringing in a load of outsiders who don't understand the club and talking about Cambridge as a derby.
I'm going to give the owners the benefit of the doubt on this as their first appointment. I am expecting them to be appointing a manager who will lead us for years to come. It shouldn't be too difficult with a proper footballing man like Ashton involved in recruitment.

Razor added 11:19 - Dec 6
Will only be temporary and I trust the owners to get a decent long term manager for the long haul-----at last!!

Razor added 11:20 - Dec 6
Will only be temporary and I trust the owners to get a decent long term manager for the long haul-----at last!!

BobbyBell added 11:20 - Dec 6
Today's football seems to be all about pass percentages, assists, yards covered and all sorts of other stats. Too many players are scared to gamble on a pass, make a run or shoot in case it doesn't work and messes up their stats. What we want is players who can take a corner or freekick, play a pass without over hitting it and above all players willing to get forward, create space and stick the ball in the net when the chance comes their way. We want 90 minutes of fast paced attacking football with players who will sweat blood for their team mates, the fans and the club. A manager with that attitude and who can motivate these players to give 100% every game is a must. PC was just too focused on one formation which it seems the players didn't like and it was too rigid.

IpswichT62OldBoy added 11:24 - Dec 6
No mention of P Reid.

Karlosfandangal added 11:26 - Dec 6
A change of formation will help IMO, Cook has brought in some very good players and players who in time could become very good indeed.

Sounds like McGreal will not be in charge long so new man to come in assessing the squad ahead of Jan transfer window.

Wonder who will leave Town, Norwood I think is one for sure, will we sign Walton and Bonne now
So many questions and I think this Christmas will show us a lot.
Town still need to be in touching distance to the top six as I feel even with a new manager and a Tranfer window which is difficult it could still be a step to far.

ArnieM added 11:40 - Dec 6
I have to laugh about people salivating at KD co managing the Town first team.

Imagine the uproar on here if this Club recruited our next manager with a CV that reads,

- Is a former player,
- has coaching badges,
- Past managerial experience,
- Managed Academy sides, U21’s
- Managed U23’s.
- Previous Clubs managed . Nil
- Previous senior first team coached / managed. Nil

There’d be uproar on here.

Monkey_Blue added 11:40 - Dec 6
Hindsight is an amazing thing but you can’t fail to notice the desperate tone in Cooks post match interviews had gone up a notch or two on Saturday. We don’t know what’s going on in the background but perhaps Cook was told early on that if he’s backed to the extent he wanted that required a certain level of performance and results? There were more than a few interviews where cook seemed to be begging for time and rolling out his CV towards the end might suggest he knew he was on borrowed time. I don’t think Craney, Jeffers and Robert’s being missing can be judged as a loss or gain regardless of tomorrow’s result, but it’s clear you don’t hire inexperienced and possibly ultimately average or poor coaches if you are carpet bombing a squad.

DMDC added 11:41 - Dec 6
We need Warnock, l know he isnt a popular choice,but give him an 18 month contract and he will get us out of this league. Then we can look at the bigger picture.

Beattiesballbag added 11:42 - Dec 6
With the right man behind him Cook may have been ok ? Given space we did look really good at times but it was clear something was missing from his coaching staff as we were unable to deal with teams such as Accrington, Rotherham & any team that pressed us.......Unfortunatly there's an example up the road that the right man in charge can have an immediate effect, so there is still time & a chance that we could end up back in the promotion pack.....just didn't look on the cards if things had stayed as they were.

ImAbeliever added 11:44 - Dec 6
Possible reason for no mention of Peter Reid is because his job has been done i.e. technical and tactical analysis of last few matches. But who knows?

Monkey_Blue added 11:47 - Dec 6
I’ve read some nonsense about sacking managers not being the Ipswich way…. Football has changed so much that the consequences of failure by a manager are far more stark than in the past. You can’t moan we are behind the time’s and still want to cling to a glory era in terms of how you operate when that’s in the distant past. Even burley was 19 years ago and we’ve gone through 8 managers since…. Still puts us high up on the patience scale. There are teams in the premiership now who have at least equalled that and I don’t just mean Watford.

chaser2k15 added 11:48 - Dec 6
At least it gives them a bit more time to get the final choice right.

Monkey_Blue added 11:52 - Dec 6
Peter Reid was being paid to have a chat with his mate and something Cook “cooked up” to deflect the assistant/Richardson questions. When Peter Reid is the answer you’ve got to ask yourself what the hell is the question.

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