Date:Friday November 11 2011
Just this morning I was thinking to myself 'what next for Whittingham, and more so, Gray following the appointment of Appy?'
Well, this has been answered by Michael Appleton himself, quoted in The News, today who says that Stuart Gray and Guy Whittingham will remain as part of his coaching set-up: 'we have three coaches in terms of me, Stuart and Guy.
'That should be sufficient to make sure we look after the players.'
Funnily enough, not that it has anything to do with this point in case but there is a 'loose' connection!
Looking at the comments on The News article about Appleton saying he is keeping the set-up as it is - or hopes to - post no.7 made for interesting viewing...It was none other than a copy and paste of an article published on Vital Pompey yesterday about the Dulwich youngster that is 'meant' to be coming in for training next week...
Right, where was I?
Oh yes, Appleton's thoughts on not changing the coaching set-up...
These thoughts do not come as a surprise in many ways given David Lampitt's quite public thoughts that Pompey wanted to keep the existing coaching set-up in place - thoughts shared both pre and post the Appy appointment.
Something that Appy also mentioned: 'as for the other staff here, right from day one of being interviewed, it was made very clear to me the club have got a good backroom staff, medical staff, sports science staff and analysis staff.
'They didn't want to change things because they felt they had the right people in place.
'I was well aware of that in the interview. I am prepared to work with them and, hopefully, they are prepared to work with me.'
I do have this feeling that Appy will do well with us but those with a good knowledge of the club and an understanding of it will be beneficial to him, so retaining these is important as it having further experience around him.
By no means, in coaching terms anyway, is Appy 'inexperienced' but in Whittingham and Gray, especially Gray, he has a couple of people with plenty of experience that he could and should draw from - and from the sounds of it he will!
'Further down the line' the recruiting of an assistant manager is not ruled out though but Dean Kiely, as had been 'reported', will not be coming with Appy to Fratton anytime soon: 'further down the line, I don't know, but at the minute there isn't a need for an assistant.
'Obviously Dean is going to get linked because I have been working with him for the past four years at West Brom and we have had a lot of success during that time.
'He has done a fantastic job there and I am sure Roy would be very angry and very cheesed off with me if I start trying to take members of staff.
'So I won't be!'
I have little doubt that Whittingham will remain, and will want to, although I still have slight reservations about Gray?
He has a good relationship with Steve Cotterill and has previous with Forest so 'if' Cotterill really does want him to join his coaching set-up at Forest then I fear we may well lose his experience, which would be a blow...
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Date:Friday November 11 2011
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