Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Together Dave the Best out of All and Tony Will Get the Boro Players' Sky Pundit Says New Head Coach Is Someone Boss Trusts and Pair Work Well Together

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

'Together Dave the Best out of All and Tony Will Get the Boro Players' Sky Pundit Says New Head Coach Is Someone Boss Trusts and Pair Work Well Together

Article excerpt

Byline: PHILIP TALLENTIRE philip.tallentire@trinitymirror.com @PTALLENTIREGAZ

THERE is a strong bond between Tony Pulis and new Middlesbrough coach Dave Kemp according to Danny Higginbotham, who played under the pair.

Boro boss Pulis appointed 64-year-old Kemp on January 4 after convincing the vastly experienced coach to come out of retirement and join him on Teesside.

Higginbotham played for the duo at Stoke City and saw the pair working together at close quarters day-in, day-out.

He liked what he saw and was happy tell the Gazette what it's like to share a dressing room and training ground with Kemp in particular.

"He is someone that Tony trusts implicitly and he listens to his advice," said the Sky Sports pundit.

"Dave is not just a trusted coach as far as Tony is concerned, he is a trusted friend and that's a big thing in football, you want someone around you that you can trust.

"There's a strong bond, a strong friendship between them and I think they bounce ideas off each other and complement each other.

"He will join in with discussions when Tony talks to the players, he'll add a point of view if he thinks it's required. But I think he liked to talk to the players one-to-one, he would pull you and have a private word if he thought it was needed."

Kemp has worked with Pulis for almost 20 years and Higginbotham thinks they will get the best out of the Boro players they have inherited.

"I played my best football under them, Stoke was where I had my best time in the game," he insisted.

"He likes to work with players that he believes are good enough to play at a certain level but who maybe have a point to prove.

"Look at the players he worked with at Stoke; Jermaine Pennant was unfortunate not to get an England recall when he played under Tony and so was Matty Ethertington.

"James Beattie scored goals for Tony at Stoke, he brought Ryan Shawcross on brilliantly and Rory Delap did really well for the club.

"One thing you can say about Tony Pulis and his coaching staff is he gets the best out of players. He was fantastic at giving players a platform on which they could thrive and he made you feel 10ft tall. …

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