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Gilkes on his new role as First Team Coach

Club legend is enjoying his new job at the club

10 October 2017

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Michael Gilkes has spoken of his desire to make the most of his first campaign as First Team Coach, with a 'long season' still ahead of the Royals.

The former winger is now a First Team Coach at the club where he spent 13 years as a player, and he says he is enjoying being back in a first team environment.

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While Gilkes is pleased to be in the first team fold, he is hoping to play his part in bringing results on the pitch for the season ahead.

On his new role, Gilkes said: “Very enjoyable, of course. As an individual it’s how it feels working with the players at this level and the management.

“But I’m going to be honest as well and say it coincides with results, and you want to try and get as many wins as soon as possible.

“We’ve had a lot of time to work together. There have been some players who have been away on international duty and we’ve had a lot of time to look at Leeds, what formation, what their key players are.

“Our preparation can only be as good as it can be, having enough time to focus on that and that’s exactly what we’ve been trying to do, prepare for Saturday.”

Having been a winger during his playing days, Gilkes added that he has enjoyed learning about the way the game is played at the moment, and co-operating with the players in his approach to coaching.

On progress with the team on the training pitch, he added: “It’s ongoing really, obviously there are different styles of play now and the game’s played at a higher pace now to what it was before.

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“You’re always teaching each other, even though you’re the coach and they’re the players, it’s really good to get a response from them as to what they think was available to them. It’s a work in progress, but it’s very enjoyable.”

Gilkes also praised the structure within the club, with a well-organised team behind the scenes helping first team proceedings tick over on a day-to-day basis.

“I think the atmosphere has already been sorted out from beforehand, I’m fortunate enough to come into a well-oiled machine from the management level right down through to the playing squad.

“It was more about me fitting in and finding out their needs, I’m still working that out from a defensive point of view and an attacking point of view.

“It’s a long season, if I’m honest we haven’t put ourselves in a position that we’re happy with at the moment, but we’ve got a new month to look forward to, we’ll try and do our best in this month and go forward from there.”

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