Alex Aldridge: We are all delighted that Adam Barrett is staying as part of Joe Edwards’ Millwall backroom team

Alex Aldridge says that Millwall’s hierarchy are “delighted” that Adam Barrett is staying on as part of new head coach Joe Edwards’ backroom staff.

The Lions appointed Edwards on Monday and he brought in Andy Myers, who had been at Chelsea as loan player technical coach.

It was also confirmed that Barrett, who had been assistant to previous boss Gary Rowett, would not be leaving but first-team coach Paul Robinson departed by mutual consent.

Barrett had taken caretaker charge of the Lions for the second time. He also stepped in when Neil Harris stepped down in 2019.

Aldridge, Millwall’s director of football operations and recruitment, told the South London Press: “When we spoke to Adam and told him that we’d be appointing Joe, straight away his feeling and reaction was that he has put a lot of hard work into the club over the last seven years.

“He’d been part of a very successful period of the club. You could argue the last six-and-a-half seasons have been some of the most successful in the club’s recent history – in terms of league position and over-performing our budget.

Alex Aldridge
Picture: Brian Tonks

“Adam has been a huge part of that and his quality of work is excellent. He is an outstanding person. He is hugely well-respected and liked by the players and staff. He stepped up as a caretaker in quite difficult circumstances. It wasn’t exactly a kind run of fixtures and we had some injury problems.

“In terms of performance, the feeling around the training ground and squad he led the group fantastically well during what is obviously an uncertain period, by the nature of it.

“Adam has stayed because – A – he wanted to stay and – B – because Joe wanted him to stay. That is absolutely essential that it was a dynamic that was felt on both sides.

“Joe coming into his first role as head coach is hugely appreciative of the fact he has got Adam as part of his team with his experience and knowledge – he’s worked with the club for a long period of time.

“He has got that relationship with Andy Myers. I think that team is going to fit together really well.

“From a club point of view we are delighted that Adam stays to be part of it. He is extremely highly-valued and we’re very grateful for him taking the team over the last few weeks.”

Rowett was just days away from marking four years at the helm when his departure from the Lions was announced last month.

“Part of my role is always to have an awareness of ‘what if?’,” said Aldridge. “That could be us choosing to change the manager. That could be the manager coming to us and saying he thinks it is time to leave, and it becomes an amicable, mutual decision – which was the case with Gary. It could be that the manager gets poached by another club.

“It’s not always in your control when you change.

“It would be the same with Joe, even though is he just through the door. At some point we’ll have thoughts on succession planning because, again, you just never know what is going to happen in football.

“Gary was very honest with the chairman about how he felt and that he had reached a natural end point. He deserves a lot of credit and respect for that because it probably would’ve been easier to carry on down that road and that probably wouldn’t have been the right thing for the club, the team or Gary.

“The exact timing of it maybe caught us a little bit by surprise but the flipside of that is Gary had been here for four years which is a long time compared with most other clubs.

“At Millwall we have been used to long-serving managers and it is a real strength of the club. We’re also a bit of an outlier. The average term of a manager in the EFL is about a year. There are natural cycles with managers and head coaches. Once you get to four years, you have an awareness this has gone on for a long time and that things don’t go on forever.”

See Friday’s South London Press for a full exclusive interview with Aldridge as he discusses Edwards’ appointment and the interview process

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