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Former Gillingham manager Neil Harris appointed head coach by League 1 Cambridge United

Former Gillingham manager Neil Harris is back in football - and he’s gone back up a division.

Harris has been appointed head coach of League 1 Cambridge United on an 18-month contract.

Neil Harris is back in football as Cambridge United’s new head coach. Picture: Keith Heppell
Neil Harris is back in football as Cambridge United’s new head coach. Picture: Keith Heppell

The 46-year-old replaces Mark Bonner who was sacked by the club last week following Cambridge’s 3-0 defeat at home to Lincoln and will take charge of this Saturday’s game against Charlton.

Harris was sacked as Gillingham manager on October 5 after a 2-0 defeat at Crewe in League 2. He joined the Gills in January 2022 but was unable to save them from relegation, losing their League 2 status on goal difference. Gillingham were eighth in the table when Harris was sacked.

“I am super excited and really pleased to be here,” said Harris on the Cambridge job.

“It’s a brilliant project in motion here and I just want to come and add some value to that.

“I have seen the team evolve over the past four or five years and have always followed the results from my connections with the club from my younger days. I have always had an affinity with Cambridge but the players here have some brilliant attributes that suit the way I want to play.

“I want us to be a Cambridge United side that people fear playing against. I want to win games of football and address recent results as quickly as I can. It’s certainly not revolution, it’s about evolution and supporting the players that are already and trying to get a little more out of them.”

Cambridge majority owner Paul Barry said: “Neil is a head coach who brings great experience and a proven track record of success at a high level in the game. We are confident that he can get the best out of our players.

“Importantly, we also feel he has exactly the right character for Cambridge United and is a strong cultural fit for where the club is at the moment. He is someone who can help us consolidate our position in League One, build on the strong foundations we have created and drive us forward by staying true to our collective values as a Club. He lives in this region and knows Cambridge well.

“This has been a quick but also a thorough process. Over the last week we have spoken to several different candidates, and we are appointing Neil after three separate interviews held over many hours.”

Harris takes over with Cambridge sitting 18th in League 1 with 20 points from 19 games, four points above the relegation zone.

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