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Peter Taylor will select the Gillingham team while helping Paul Scally find a new manager

By Luke Cawdell

Peter Taylor believes he is duty-bound to take on the role as interim manager.

The Gillingham director of football has stepped into the void left by departed boss Ady Pennock while the League 1 club find a replacement.

It will be the third time Taylor has taken over first-team affairs but the first in a caretaker capacity.

Peter Taylor Picture: Barry Goodwin
Peter Taylor Picture: Barry Goodwin

Taylor will be in the stands on Tuesday, overseeing a Gills team which he will have selected.

“I am going to pick the team,” confirmed Taylor, after chairman Paul Scally asked him to hold the fort.

“I told the players that on Monday. I am picking the team on the strength of the games I have seen.

“I never got involved in team selection before as I left that to Ady and that’s the way we both wanted it. I wanted Ady to do it his way and he did; no problem.”

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Taylor last took charge of a Gills team in December 2014, losing to Bristol City. He was sacked three days later.

Three years on and, as director of football, he feels he is now fulfilling his duties by helping out.

He said: “I still love the game of football and I think I would be wrong if I had said to the chairman I didn’t want to do it and to have left it to someone else. I wouldn’t be fulfilling my job really.

“If I turned around and said to the chairman I wasn’t going to do it, I am not convinced I am helping him as director of football. I have done the job before, I have had enough games and I still enjoy that side.”

Taylor took a training session on Monday, hours after a meeting in which Pennock and chairman Scally agreed to part ways, agreeing a separation by mutual consent.

“Me and Ady got on really well,” said Taylor, who had handed Pennock the captain’s armband at Wembley back in 2000 during his first, more successful stint in charge.

“We have been very honest with each other and it is a shame what happened to him. I felt sorry for him. I think he has been unlucky.

“Football is tough. Where Ady is unlucky is that he took over last year during a very difficult time and I don’t think people appreciate how difficult it was.

“It wasn’t a good place; it wasn’t a good strong changing room. It was a recipe for not winning matches and that is exactly what happened.

Gills chairman Paul Scally and then-boss Peter Taylor celebrate promotion at Wembley in 2000
Gills chairman Paul Scally and then-boss Peter Taylor celebrate promotion at Wembley in 2000

“Because of that it put Ady under more pressure at the start of this season and with that pressure players have probably realised the pressure he is under. That doesn’t make the job any easier.”

Pennock won just once in nine games this season, bringing his total league wins from 30 games to just five.

“I totally understand why the chairman has made the decision,” said Taylor.

“Ady understands it as well. I was involved in the meeting on Monday with Ady and the chairman. Both were so professional and very respectful to each other.

“Nobody wants to see the team struggle. Ady doesn’t and the chairman certainly doesn’t. That is why in the end they both agreed it was in the club’s best interest.”

Taylor insists he’s not in the hot-seat for the long-term and will help Mr Scally find a new manager over the coming weeks.

Asked how long he could be in charge for, he said: “I honestly don’t know.

“The chairman has asked me to get a list together (of potential managers) and he has got a list together.

“You can imagine there have been a million phone calls. I don’t mind people putting their names forward once Ady has gone, it’s the ones who have put their names forward before he has gone are the ones I haven’t got a lot of respect for.

“I am going to do this until the chairman finds the right person and I am going to help him with that by putting my point of view over. As I always do, I will give him my honest opinion.”

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