McGreal named interim boss as Cook's coaches all depart

Colchester United head coach John McGreal applauds fans after the U's 2-0 victory. Picture: STEVE W

John McGreal has been named Ipswich Town caretaker manager. - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

John McGreal has been named interim manager at Ipswich Town ahead of tomorrow night's game with Charlton.

The Blues appointed McGreal 'to support Kieron Dyer with the U23s' last Thursday. Two days later, following a 0-0 home draw with League Two side Barrow in the FA Cup, his fellow Liverpudlian and good friend Paul Cook had been sacked.

Town chief executive Mark Ashton says an 'extensive search' to find the club's new boss is underway.

McGreal will be assisted by both Dyer and Rene Gilmartin, with the latter coming into the club having previously worked under McGreal at Colchester and Swindon, as well as being a player at Bristol City during Ashton's time at the Championship club. Carl Pentney, Town's head of academy goalkeeping, steps up to work with the Ipswich keepers on a temporary basis.

Town have also announced that former boss Cook's coaching staff - Gary Roberts, Francis Jeffers, Ian Craney and John Keeley - have all left the club following discussions.

Ipswich are currently 11th in the League One table, seven points off the play-offs. More than 3,000 Blues supporters will be at The Valley for tomorrow night's game against Charlton, with Town then travelling to high-flying Wigan on Saturday. 

After that comes the FA Cup second round replay at Barrow, followed by the visit of Sunderland - for which a crowd of more than 28,000 is expected.

A defender in his playing days, McGreal made more than 100 appearances for Ipswich between 1999 and 2004, helping the club get promoted to the Premier League in 2000.

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The 49-year-old subsequently rose through the coaching ranks at Colchester United, ultimately managing them in League Two for a four-year spell between 2016 to 2020. He was controversially sacked, and replaced by assistant Steve Ball, after a play-off semi-final defeat to Exeter.

Then, back in the summer, he quit as Swindon manager just 31 days into the job 'due to the current circumstances the club is facing'.

Born and raised in Ipswich, academy produced Dyer starred in the Blues' first team as a teenager before making a big money move to Newcastle. He went on to play 33 times for England, also representing West Ham, QPR and Middlesbrough. 

The 42-year-old started his coaching journey as Town's U18s manager in 2018/19. Following a spell away, in which he observed England youth training camps and Anderlecht sessions, he returned to become the club's U23s manager.

At the end of October it was announced he would need a liver transplant, but Dyer has continued working.

Gilmartin, a 34-year-old former goalkeeper, has spent more than 15 years playing in English football for the likes of Walsall, Watford and Colchester before transitioning into coaching. 

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