Cot­ter­ill wants to keep up good work with Lee

Birmingham Post - - SPORT - Foot­ball Writer

STEVE Cot­ter­ill has ex­pressed his plea­sure at Lee Cars­ley’s ap­point­ment as as­sis­tant man­ager – and sug­gested it was his idea to give the care­taker the role.

New Blues boss Cot­ter­ill re­vealed he had li­cence to bring some­one new to the coach­ing staff.

How­ever, he wanted to har­ness the good work Cars­ley did fol­low­ing Harry Red­knapp’s dis­missal, a move that will pro­vide con­ti­nu­ity and sta­bil­ity in a time of flux.

“It wasn’t some­thing I was asked to do. It was some­thing I threw out be­fore it came to me,” Cot­ter­ill said.

“Had I come in to the job here and wanted to bring some­one in with me, I felt as though I could have prob­a­bly done that if it was some­thing I wanted to do. And I thought cer­tainly in the im­me­di­ate short­term ‘Lee has had hold of the team now and has been work­ing away for the last three games’.

“He’s a re­ally good lad. I re­ally felt for him on Satur­day. He said to me af­ter the game ‘Do you want to meet later on tonight or in the morn­ing and talk things out?’

“But I said no and the best thing for him was to go home and spend some time with his lov­ing fam­ily, be­cause I know he would have been re­ally hurt by that.

“I’m ab­so­lutely de­lighted Lee Cars­ley is on board with me. I don’t know whether that’s what he’ll want to do long-term. My gut feel­ing is he’ll want to go back and have his own team even­tu­ally, be­cause that’s what his forté has been.

“He’s done that for a long time and he’s happy and com­fort­able do­ing it. But at this mo­ment in time he’s go­ing to be with me.”

Cars­ley will com­bine the role with his work with Eng­land Un­der-21s, leav­ing Cot­ter­ill, first-team coach Paul Groves and goal­keep­ing spe­cial­ist Kevin Hitch­cock to work with the team this week. The group pro­vides Cot­ter­ill with an ex­pe­ri­enced and var­ied back­room.

“Paul Groves was al­ready at the club, who I know vey well,” Cot­ter­ill con­tin­ued. “We played for Bur­ton Al­bion to­gether all those years ago, Grovesy I have prob­a­bly known for 30 years now.

“I have known Kev for a long time now so I don’t have any fears or wor­ries there. Last year work­ing to­gether for a while has given us a good start.”

Cot­ter­ill, who has taken the job on a two-and-a-half-year-deal, added: “I have been very pa­tient wait­ing for the right job to come along. I could have worked a week af­ter leav­ing Bris­tol City and at a few clubs since.

“I know what’s pos­si­ble at this foot­ball club, I was born 40 min­utes down the road, I am a very, very proud man.

“I have waited a long time for an op­por­tu­nity like this and I will grab it with both hands.

“Any­thing you get in life that is worth hav­ing, you have to fight for. I am a fighter, but I am a thought­ful one.”

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