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Ady Pennock signed some really good players, says Gillingham assistant coach Mark Patterson

By Luke Cawdell

Assistant coach Mark Patterson hasn’t been surprised to see the results improve at Gillingham and believes their predecessors deserve some credit.

Players like goalkeeper Tomas Holy, striker Tom Eaves and defender Gabriel Zakuani have all impressed of late and all were signed in the summer by former boss Ady Pennock.

Patterson said: “I knew the players we had here, they are good players. Ady and Peter Taylor (director of football alongside Pennock) brought in some good professionals, people you can trust.

Ady Pennock with Tomas Holy Picture: Andy Jones
Ady Pennock with Tomas Holy Picture: Andy Jones

“It doesn’t surprise me that we have progressed. It was disappointing for Ady to lose his job but you look at the players he brought in, he has got a lot to say in this team. He signed some really good players.

“Why didn’t it happen for him? Nobody knows, you can’t answer that but it has happened with the same group of players and I am not surprised it happened. Would it have happened under Ady? Quite possibly but a decision was made at that time.

“We have just continued to build from that (first) win at Peterborough. We have seen
an upturn and that has been vital.”

Patterson had been combining under-18 duties with the first team before Ben White’s recent appointment to head up the youth team, leaving Lovell with a right-hand man who has more time to help.

Former Gills head coach Ady Pennock Picture: Andy Jones
Former Gills head coach Ady Pennock Picture: Andy Jones

“It is helpful if there is some form of continuity at the club,” said the former Carlisle, Derby, Plymouth and Gills player.

“Had Steve brought someone in from the outside, he wouldn’t have known the players, they wouldn’t have known him. I have been around the building for a long time.

“Players don’t like change, they like it to be as smooth as possible. Whether we like it or not, at every club, it’s ‘the King is dead, long live the King’, it is always that way, another man comes in and everything continues.

“Steve needed a steady base to try and take things forward and it has worked so far.”

Patterson is happy that there is someone new in to guide the under-18s.

He said: “We are entering a vital time, especially for the second years and the decision making on their careers. It was important we had someone with them day to day and on match days. I am still involved in what goes on in the youth section and all the players but now I am focusing towards the first team.”

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