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Kavanagh’s delight at Rowett arrival

Millwall's CEO discusses appointment of Gary Rowett as manager...

21 October 2019

Steve Kavanagh has shared his delight after securing the services of Gary Rowett as Millwall's new manager.

Rowett arrived at The Den on Monday afternoon following extensive talks with Kavanagh and the club, and the chief executive is extremely glad that the hard work to secure his signature has paid off.

"It’s great to secure the signature of Gary," Kavanagh said to millwallfc.co.uk.

"It has been a long couple of weeks and we’ve worked extremely hard behind the scenes, but we’re delighted to get Gary here. He’s a proven and experienced Championship manager, and I think that’s important to take us to the next stage that we want to go to.

"We spent a lot of time talking to Gary, getting someone who can build on what we’ve got and where we’ve come to. It became apparent that we wanted what he has – his knowledge and experience of The Championship is there, and he’s also someone who we feel can fit in with the team, backroom staff and everyone here. We feel he can carry on the culture of the club, that Millwall DNA which can carry us forward."

Kavanagh stresses the importance of ensuring that no decision was made too hastily following the departure of Neil Harris earlier this month, and believes the club have acted in a collected manner to evaluate candidates and bring Rowett through the door.

"Neil had been here four-and-a-half years, and was The Championship’s longest-serving manager. After the shock of Neil resigning, it would’ve been easy to panic and make a knee-jerk reaction, but I think it was important to take time, to breathe, and to get around the number of various candidates who were out there to potentially come in.

"We spoke to up-and-coming young managers, coaches, and we’ve spoken to experienced, senior managers in the game. Of course, the chairman was vital in this process, and he had to come back over from America and was here for the Leeds game. So, it took a bit of time, but I would say two weeks isn’t that long in reality.

"We feel we’ve taken the right steps, through a professional process, where we’ve made sure we believe we have the right man for the job – and we really do think in Gary we have that."

Rowett brings with him to The Den assistant manager Callum Davidson and technical coach Joe Carnall, who will work alongside the existing staff including first-team coach Adam Barrett.

"A manager usually comes in and builds new backroom teams with new people, but that wasn’t the issue here," Kavanagh explains.

"We made it clear that we saw our current backroom staff with important parts to play moving forward. Gary understands that and is looking forward to getting to know and work with these people, and also to challenge them, take them on and develop them as well."

Kavanagh concludes that working with the fans and moving forward with the signature unity of the club is vital to positive progress under Rowett.

"As I say, we want to go onto the next level and we strongly believe Gary is the man who can help us do that. We’re sensible in our approach, we’re not setting Gary ridiculous targets, but we see him as the long-term man to guide the club forward to the level we are all ambitious to reach.

"We’ve committed to working with the fans, I try and speak with different fan groups as best I can, but that most important factor is that 90 minutes out on the pitch – getting behind Gary and his guys and the team to really drive results.".

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