Cotterill wants to keep up good work with Lee
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.”