Interim boss McGreal on whether he wants the Town job full-time
- Credit: Steve Waller - stephenwaller.com
John McGreal has played down talk of him potentially taking the Ipswich Town job on a full-time basis.
The former Ipswich defender is in interim charge of the Blues following the sacking of Paul Cook and is set to take the team to Wigan this weekend following a 2-0 loss at Charlton on Tuesday night.
McGreal was hired by the club last week in a role coaching Ipswich’s academy players and, while he was quickly elevated to the first-team, retains a focus on the job he was originally brought in to do.
“No, but we’re obviously talking,” McGreal said, when asked if CEO Mark Ashton had made it clear how long he would be in charge for.
“I’ll be here to take the team to Wigan and then we’ll have conversations going backwards and forwards.
“I’m here to do a job for the Town. I’ve come in to do the Under 23s and they’ve asked me to step up, so I’ll do the best I can.
“The conversations will be going on but I’m here to do the Under 23s and help develop kids to get into the first-team. The club has a proud history of that.”
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While McGreal expects to return to his role with the Under 23s, the Colchester manager did reveal his pride at leading the club he played more than 150 games for.
“It was brilliant,” McGreal said of leading the team at Charlton.
“I live in the area and I’ve been here for a number of years, even when I was Colchester manager I was living in Ipswich, so I’ve been watching a lot of games back to the Mick McCarthy era.
“I’ve always had an interest in the club and it’s been brilliant to me, so there was no way I was going to turn my back on it now.
“I’m just going to enjoy it and do what I can to win games of football. If there is a defeat, then you have to try and find ways to get guys performing again. That’s the most important thing.
“It’s trying to get the max out of the guys and their performance levels.”
McGreal has received plenty of support from former team-mates since taking the job, many of whom played together as the Blues won promotion to the Premier League, finished fifth in the top flight and then enjoyed two seasons of UEFA Cup football.
“I speak to Tommy Miller, Mark Venus, David Johnson, Scowie (James Scowcroft) and Jamie Clapham – a really strong group of lads. I saw Matt Holland at Charlton the other night, too.
“We had such a tight bond and they’ve been brilliant. What we did together, with promotion, the Premier League and playing in the UEFA Cup, will last forever.
“We had a good team and we still have those connections.
“The gaffer (George Burley) and I text a bit and he’s been a bit of a mentor for me,” he said.
“We used to have a coffee and debrief games (when Colchester boss) and he’s been great. He sent me a nice message the other night.”