Gills Assistant Manager reflects on the last seven days following the departure of Peter Taylor

Andy Hessenthaler has revealed it has been a tough week since hearing the news of Peter Taylor’s departure.

The club’s Assistant Manager, who returned to Priestfield in the summer to work under Taylor, has since been working as part of a four man management structure that now have equal responsibility in preparing and picking the team.

Andy, speaking exclusively to the club website on Monday, said:

“Peter was the only reason I came back to the Football Club, he convinced me to come back to be his Assistant. He’s a personal friend of mine and we’ve known each other for a long, long time.

“It’s been a tough week and a sad week because he was a proper gentleman and I love working with him. It’s the second time I’ve worked with him on the coaching side of it and learned a lot.

“It’s been a tough time because up until the Bristol City game we were on a good run. We just seemed to get a bit of consistency; we have a young group of players who can only get better through the experience.

“Peter brought in the likes of John Egan who can only go on to bigger and better things. Brennan Dickenson is a young player who is progressing, likewise with Bradley Dack and Jake Hessenthaler who have come through the youth system.

“The Gaffer did a great job and it’s now down to us to continue his good work and I’m sure he will be back in Football very soon.”

Hessenthaler dismissed any suggestions he is taking charge of the team and insisted it is very much a joint effort between himself, Darren Hare, Mark Patterson and Steve Lovell.

He added: “I came here as Assistant and I’m assisting, we are assisting each other. I certainly don’t want to be Manager of the Football Club again.

"I had my time as Manager and I enjoyed every minute of it but now it’s a case of four of us working together. No-one is leading it; we are all bouncing things off each other.

“Some might say it’s too many people but I think it’s healthy debate – it’s four people who know the game really well and have been in the game a long time. We will carry on with our work until a new man is appointed.

“We are all employed by the club and we will get on with preparing the team in the right way.”

Hess reflected on the weekend’s defeat to Port Vale and said the team were left to pay for missed chances in the first half.

He said: “It was a very big effort from the players, they had a right go and a couple of mistakes defensively have cost us the game.

“If we had taken our opportunities in the first half with our dominance after getting the equalizer we should have gone in 3-1 up. We didn’t take our chances and we were made to pay for that.

“Aaron got an injury at Port Vale which is a shame as he’s been plagued with a few injuries this season. Amine is the same, they will both be missing and Callum Davies is longer term.

"We had a slight scare with John Egan but it looks like he has come through OK so it will be pretty much the same squad [for Bristol City], other than Aaron, that was involved at the weekend.”