Kuhl: Waddock right fit for Pompey

Pompey assistant manager Garry Waddock    Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey assistant manager Garry Waddock Picture: Joe Pepler

Gary Waddock is the perfect fit for Andy Awford’s Pompey backroom.

That is the confident verdict of former Blues favourite Martin Kuhl, who has tasted success with the 52-year-old.

Kuhl was assistant to boss Waddock at Aldershot and then Wycombe, a period which saw them total two promotions and two relegations.

It has given the midfielder, who made 181 appearances for Pompey, a telling insight into how Andy Awford’s newly-appointed assistant manager operates.

And Reading’s under-21 coach is convinced Waddock can make a favourable impact at Fratton Park.

Kuhl said: ‘Appointing Gary is a good choice.

‘Having worked with him for a number of years I know what he will bring.

‘Pompey have themselves a good coach who will bring plenty of ideas to the training pitch and will get the players going.

‘He’s someone who has excellent knowledge of the game and is good with players, a very fair man who is disciplined and organised.

‘Gary is not a shouter or a raver, he is more thoughtful than that.

‘The way we operated, he left the shouting to me. I am not worried about that and it worked well.

‘I think players responded to his approach. He has a lot of time for them, will speak to them, listen to them – it is not one-way.

‘That is how he is. He gets on with people, is a tremendous ambassador for the game and people have a lot of respect for him – I still speak to Gary regularly.

‘Over the years he has learned certain players are in certain leagues for certain reasons, they may think they are Premier League but they are not.

‘I felt he was short-changed at Oxford last season.

‘But that is the modern game these days and now he has got a really good job at Pompey.

‘He will get on with Awfs, that is a really good fit, and will provide a different voice and another set of eyes and ears.

‘I can see it working for the club. Gary has earned his stripes as a coach and a manager and can bring so much to the club.’

Kuhl and Waddock first linked up at Aldershot in May 2007 and masterminded the Shots’ return to the Football League with a record 101 points.

The duo left the Recreation Ground in October 2009 for Wycombe but they couldn’t prevent relegation to League One.

The following year, they steered the Chairboys to promotion, finishing third, only to suffer relegation once more and Waddock left in September 2012.

Kuhl added: ‘People talk about experience, so where did Sir Alex Ferguson and Sam Allardyce get it from? Were they born with it?

‘Awfs could have been happy to sit in the reserves but wanted to give it a go and he needs time.

‘It is a little bit of a tricky time for Awfs – but Gary will be good for him.’