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Steve Lovell reacts to being named the new permanent manager at Gillingham

Steve Lovell was a proud man after finally landing the top job at Gillingham.

He has been handed the opportunity to continue what he has started, during a successful seven-game caretaker stint, a chance he’s waited years to get.

Steve Lovell Picture: Andy Jones
Steve Lovell Picture: Andy Jones

“I was very proud,” said the Welshman, after being given the green-light to continue by chairman Paul Scally on Thursday.

“I have been involved with this club for a long, long time. From the community officer, to under-18 coach, assistant manager and first team coach, it was great to actually get to the top and be the boss.

“I have had the okay from the chairman to carry on and that’s great for me.

Scally: Let's put the negativity behind us

Lovell was asked to take over as caretaker boss before the Peterborough game a month ago, a match which the Gills went and won 1-0 against the odds.

An impressive draw against high-flying Wigan and then a win at Rotherham followed, as Lovell went from a man holding the fort to one who had quickly shown he was capable to doing the job permanently.

He has managed to win the chairman over, and some sceptical fans, but he never doubted himself.

He said: “It was nice to work with the players and let them express themselves and the Peterborough game couldn’t have worked out any better.

“I had waited a long time to be given the opportunity and I wasn’t going to let it slip. The Peterborough game was like being chucked into a sweet shop. I was dying to get my hands on it and it worked.

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“I have always believed in my ability. It is just a matter of actually getting to make the decisions. When you work with other managers you have your input but ultimately it is the manager who makes the final decision and you have to respect that. You work for the football club and the man in charge at the time. We all do things differently.

“I had a different way of doing things on the field that previous managers had and I was lucky enough to be able to do it. It has paid off.

Gillingham manager Steve Lovell Picture: Barry Goodwin
Gillingham manager Steve Lovell Picture: Barry Goodwin

“The important thing is to now continue it and make sure that the players keep on top of their game and that we push forward.”

Lovell has been assisted by youth team boss Mark Patterson and community coach Ian Cox since taking over and he would like the pair to remain on his backroom team.

But they will have decisions to make themselves but Lovell isn’t putting the pressure on for any instant decisions.

He said: “It something I have to look at, with Mark and Coxy helping me. It is something we have to discuss in the next few weeks going forward.

“There is no reason they can’t continue doing what they are with me but that is a discussion for another time. We have to get Saturday out of the way at Walsall and Blackpool (on Tuesday night). We can address it and see where we can go.”

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