Bryan Klug: Roy Keane did me a favour
BRYAN Klug insists he has no hard feelings towards Roy Keane following an emotional return to the Ipswich Town coaching staff.
After more than 30 years service to the club as player and coach, Klug was sacked as ‘player development manager’ in January 2010, with Keane deciding the first-team role was surplus to requirements.
Klug – who led the Blues to the FA Youth Cup title in 2005 and helped produce young talent such as Kieron Dyer, Darren Bent and Richard Wright – admits he was hugely disappointed by the decision at the time.
However, following two-and-half years working with the young players at Tottenham, he believes he has returned to Portman Road – this time as ‘academy director’ – a far better coach.
“I told him (Keane) at the time that I thought it was the wrong decision,” said Klug, when asked about his controversial dismissal.
“At that time I had been Jim (Magilton)’s assistant and I’d just started a new role with the first-team. That was never going to work with Roy, he just wasn’t interested in having that role.
“He operated in a different way to how I operated and, like in any business, the boss’ opinion always wins.
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He continued: “It didn’t feel like it at the time, but it probably did me a big favour. I’d been in this corner of East Anglia for such a long time and I probably needed to broaden my horizons a bit. Tottenham provided me with a great environment to start learning again and perhaps that wasn’t the case for me in my latter years at Ipswich.
“It’s really stimulated me going away and working with youngsters again.
“Obviously I always hoped that one day I would be able to come back and carry on working for this club though, as it has been such a big part of my life. It really does feel like I’ve come home.”
Chief executive Simon Clegg added: “It was a difficult discussion to have when Bryan departed because of the amount of time he’d spent at the club.
“You have to back your manager when it comes to who he feels should be in the starting XI and which staff he wants around him though.
“Bryan was no longer within the academy at the time, he was working with the first team and the manager decided he wanted to change things around.
“Both Bryan and I said at the time that we hoped he would one day have the chance to return and I am delighted that has been able to happen.”