Portland United's Gary Bailey had desire to return

Thursday 01st February 2018

PORTLAND United interim manager Gary Bailey admits a desire to return to football had been “stirring” in him.

Bailey was announced as the temporary replacement for the sacked Simon Browne less than 24 hours after the latter was dismissed.

Browne had succeeded the outgoing Bailey after the popular Blues’ boss had stepped down following a title-winning campaign last season.

Speaking to Echosport, Bailey conceded that he had been “missing” working in football after his self-imposed break.

He said: “It’s happened so quickly, it’s dropped in my lap. I saw on the Echo website that (Browne) was sacked and later on I received a call from the club asking if I was in a position to take the role.

“I gave it a bit of thought and I agreed to step in. It was my decision in the summer to step down and that was done for the right reasons.

“I was pretty tired and felt that I had given what I could. It was time for a little break and I’ve enjoyed that. Over the last couple of months things have been stirring in me and I was missing it.

“Those feelings are there for another challenge and this one came out of the blue.

I’ve got an affinity with the club and once I got my head around it, it was a simple decision.”

Bailey moved quickly to appoint former Blues’ managers Stuart Heath and Chris Wilson to his backroom staff.

He said: “I’ve worked with both of them in various capacities, recently with Chris last season and our working relationship is still fresh.

“I was assistant to Stuart in his term at the club – we were friends all the way through. We’ve been chatting and both are happy to take up the opportunity.”

Bailey is due to take charge of his first game on Saturday when the Blues host second-placed Blackfield and Langley (3pm).

Despite managing most of the current squad last season, Bailey feels there will still be an “induction period” as both parties get used to working with each other.

“I know most of (the players) pretty well from last season, and the ones that I don’t, I know of.

“There will be an induction period and we’ll get the best out of them for the weekend,” he said.

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