Ipswich Town: Mark Ashton on John McGreal’s appointment


13:50 December 6, 2021

4:44 PM December 6, 2021

Mark Ashton won’t rule out handing interim boss John McGreal the full-time job at Ipswich Town, but the CEO insisted that was not the plan after Paul Cook was sacked.

McGreal will take charge of the Blues at Charlton on Tuesday night following Cook’s sacking on Saturday, just days after being appointed by the club to an academy coaching position.

Ashton insisted that the timing of McGreal’s arrival and the subsequent rise of the first team is pure coincidence, revealing that the former Ipswich center-half felt uncomfortable when ‘he was asked to put himself in his friend Cook’s shoes.

“We spoke to John after Saturday’s game and to say he was in shock was probably an understatement,” said Ashton.

“But at the moment we felt we needed someone who had as much experience as possible to stabilize the ship. When you meet a manager, the whole club falters. It’s natural.

“He’s a good, solid leader with a lot of league games to his name and he’s a man from Ipswich Town. So myself and Mike O’Leary met him on Saturday night and asked him he would take the team and his words were ‘I’m an Ipswich man, I won’t let the club down. If that’s what you’re asking me to do, I will.

Asked when McGreal’s arrival and then his swift transfer to the acting position, Ashton described the hiring process and insisted the move was not part of their plan.

“It’s really important here because people come together and get a number that’s not true,” Ashton said.

“I interviewed John with Gary Probert for his development role and we told Paul about it because Paul knew him. Then Gary Probert completed the interview process and appointed him within the week.

“The only other time I spoke to him was after Saturday’s game.

“You could tell, by talking to him at the start, that there was a real unease and a shock around him. But he told me he wouldn’t drop the club if needed.

It remains to be seen how long McGreal will stay in temporary charge, with Ashton launching “an extensive manager search” this week.

And while the CEO doesn’t rule out McGreal proving his worth and keeping his job, he insisted the plan was for him to return to his coaching role once a full-time date rolled around. taken.

He said: “I’m too long in the tooth to say ‘never say never’.

“I’m going to be honest – and I’ve said this to John as well – I didn’t put him in charge of a gatekeeper with the intention of giving him the job. We intend to go into the market and find the best candidate.

“When you talk to John, the plan is for him to come back to the Under 23 and the development role.

“But in this world, anything can happen. He could go on to win every game by the end of the season.

“Our plan, however, is to go to the market.”

McGreal will be assisted by Under-23 boss Kieron Dyer and Rene Gilmartin during his tenure as interim boss, the latter being a former goalkeeper under the city’s temporary boss at Colchester before becoming his deputy manager for his tenure. short term in Swindon in summer. He is also well known to Ashton, having ended his playing career at Bristol City.

“I spoke to Kieron Dyer on Sunday and had the same conversations with him as with John,” Ashton said. “Kieron was first class. He said he would step in to help if the club needed him.

“We also brought in Rene Gilmartin this morning who is someone I and my team know very well (from Bristol City) and he was also John’s assistant. Those stars aligned and he was available. I can’t think of a better, more detailed man to turn to when you need help.

“René joined us this morning.

“Right now John McGreal is in charge and I’ve told the players that.

“He takes it, he leads it and while his hands are on the wheel it has to be his team. Sam Morsy, as captain, was okay with that and we need to support him and score points on the board.


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