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Gillingham's assistant manager John Schofield writes exclusively for the KM Group

There has been a bit of talk this week about our decision to let the kitman deliver the team talks but that just shows what we are about.

John Schofield
John Schofield

We are a team and Malcolm is a massive part of that team. We all muck in together and help each other out and he’s great.

He is a proper granddad-type speaker and when you do actually listen, like the lads do, he has got 70-odd years’ experience and he talks a lot of sense.

The lads hear my voice quite a lot – the same as James Russell, James Barker, Carl Muggleton and the manager – but we are singing the same song in a different way. It is another way of getting through to them.

When I first arrived the players may have struggled to understand my accent but thankfully the players have started to turn around now when I talk so they know it’s me!

It’s a learning process for me and you need to make sure you have good communication skills.

I’ve been with the club a couple of months now and it’s been pleasing to see so many smiling faces around the place. That’s how we try and operate and I think that’s how you get the best out of people.

For those who don’t know much about me, I have been involved in professional football since 1988. I used to have, what I call a proper job and I’m a qualified mechanic, which I did from when I left school, before turning pro. I’ve played, coached, worked with youth teams, been an assistant and a manager, so all the roles in the pyramid.

I am delighted to write this column and hope it’s another way for the fans to see what we are doing and what we are about.

We enjoyed another win on Tuesday at Wycombe and sometimes you have to grind out results. We had our back-to-the-walls toward the end but we were resilient and showed a lot about our character.

You can put all the sessions and the drills on but if the lads haven’t got the character to actually act them out, when you are at the coal face, it is irrelevant.

Read the full column from John Schofield exclusively in the Medway Messenger every Friday

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