After pushing the patience of the Town Faithful to the limit for a second time this season in their search for a new Head Coach, Town finally has their man, but despite waiting, unlike Scott Lindsey, Jody Morris will be worth the wait.
When Lindsey was announced after a long recruitment process, people, including myself, were underwhelmed, appointing the assistant to the former Head Coach wasn’t a great move, and that’s how it played out for both parties.
But this appointment feels different as former Chelsea player, Youth Head Coach, and Assistant Manager Jody Morris arrives at the County Ground for his first Head Coach job in the Football League.
In previous articles, I was clear in wanting a new Head Coach with experience as that would set them up to take the job in the middle of a season.
David Artell looked to be the front-runner, and I would’ve been happy with him taking the job, but I’m excited to see how a talented coach at the Youth Team level and someone who has worked with some of the best players in the game at Chelsea can translate that to the Football League, and take us to the next level, starting with promotion.
He arrives with many years of experience in coaching, with his first taste of management coming in October 2011 when he assisted Alec Cleland at St. Johnstone after the departure of Derek McInnes.
He also enters the dugout with an impressive C.V from his first time as a Head Coach with Chelsea Under 18’s, where he won the F.A Youth Cup twice, the Under-18 Premier League twice, the Under – 18 Premier League Cup, and the Premier League National.
I’m sure what drew Sandro di Michele to Morris was how he won all that silverware, with him coaching possession-based football, and using formations we are used to seeing as Town fans.
But despite this appointment being somewhat of a coup for Town, Morris also arrives at a great first job for someone wanting to make their way in management, as he inherits a talented squad of players and a side sitting sixth, primed and ready to make a push for the top three.
Town has shown since Lindsey’s departure to Crawley Town under Gavin Gunning, they have the ability, netting eight goals in two games, and showing a fighting spirit as they came back to earn a point last weekend in an entertaining 3-3 draw with Gillingham.
There are areas of the side he’ll need to focus on straight away, with the defending for the away side’s first and third goals nowhere near the rewuired standard, it looks like Morris will need to improve the defence without his captain as Angus MacDonald looks to be out the door.
The 30-year-old defender, was omitted from the squad last Saturday, amid rumours online that he’s wanted by Burton Albion and Bristol Rovers in League One.
This would be a strange departure as the experienced centre-back is important in any promotion push, but if he departs, it follows the trend of Town selling their experienced players this month, with Louis Reed and Ben Gladwin already making their way to fellow League Two sides.
I don’t know why you’d sell such talented players, possibly because they don’t fit the mould di Michele is trying to build at Town, or because all three would’ve been at the top of the wage bill at the club.
Hopefully, the wages saved will be going towards some new faces on this Transfer Deadline Day, as it promises to be a busy day, with rumours surrounding Tottenham defender Malachi Fagan-Walcott joining Town on a permanent deal.
By the time you’ve read this, Town may have already made their mark in the transfer market, let’s hope these new names and our new Head Coach are the missing pieces in Town making their mark on the promotion race in League Two this season.