Gorman will be invaluable to Blues

PHIL Brown has Brian Horton, Rafa Benitez has Sammy Lee and Tony Mowbray has Mark Venus.

Derek Davis

PHIL Brown has Brian Horton, Rafa Benitez has Sammy Lee and Tony Mowbray has Mark Venus.

Each number two can offer a different as the differing trio above show.

Horton has been around quite a few blocks and adds his experience to Brown's forthright approach. Lee is Liverpool through and through, a coach who has mixed it at the highest level and is an ideal conduit between players and manager. Venus is ying to Mowbray's yang, two close friends who come at things from different perspectives but work superbly well together.

Having the right man can be the vital ingredient to success and now Jim Magilton has decided he needs to follow the Brown example and go for the wise old head option.

In 59-year-old John Gorman he has a vastly experienced coach with international and Premier League quality.

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Although it is understood that Bryan Klug, who he successfully applied and got the job as manager with, 30 months ago, will carry on doing what he loves best and coaching, it is clear Gorman as Magilton's number two will come straight in as a senior member of the team.

Gorman knows the pressures of life as a manager, he took over at Swindon when Glenn Hoddle went to Chelsea and has also been the boss in his own right at Wycombe Wanderers and Northampton.

The Scot also took caretaker charge at West Brom, Gillingham and Southampton, when the clubs have faced difficult circumstances.

He also knows the pressure a boss comes under on the international stage where he worked with Hoddle when he was England boss and followed him to Southampton and later Spurs.

His association with Hoddle remains up to date as he leaves a post coaching with Hoddle's soccer academy in Spain, designed to give professionals a second chance in the game, to join the Blues.

Born in Winchburgh, West Lothian, Scotland, Gorman started his own playing career at Celtic but moved to Carlisle where he was a regular defender for the old First Division side.

Injury wrecked his chances after a move to Spurs and he moved out to the USA and played for Tampa Bay Rowdies in the old NASL.

Known as a clever coach with good humour and sound footballing principles, Gorman espouses the Ipswich way of playing.

He was George Burley's choice to take over as first team coach with Town when Stewart Houston left for Spurs in 1999 and was a popular member of the coaching staff before rejoining his old friend Hoddle.

Magilton was a member of the playing staff back then and so there is a connection and of course David Sheepshanks was chairman at the time too and Klug was with the academy.

Gorman put his footballing principles into practice at Wycombe where he took over from Tony Adams and almost got them into the play-offs in his first year.

The following season the Chairboys went on a club record run of 21 consecutive league games without loss but the death of a player in an accident rocked the club. Another personal devastating blow followed with Gorman's wife Myra died from cancer and Gorman eventually left.

Although he took over at Northampton from Colin Calderwood who left for Nottingham Forest after declining the Ipswich job, Gorman was still struggling to come to terms with his loss and left for personal reasons.

Gorman was reunited with Burley at Southampton and when the old Town boss left to become Scotland manager, he stayed on as caretaker manager before Nigel Pearson eventually relieved him.

One of football's genuine nice men and outstanding coaches, Gorman could be an invaluable asset for the Blues in offering a guiding hand to Magilton who is still learning his trade as a manager.

He has shown himself to be an excellent number two worth listening to and could go a long way in helping Town find that missing ingredient that can push them towards the top six and their Premier League goal.