Gillingham: Peter Taylor surprised by timing of dismissal

Peter Taylor
Taylor had been in charge at Priestfield since October 2013, initially joining as interim manager

Former Gillingham manager Peter Taylor says the timing of his sacking came as a surprise.

He was dismissed by chairman Paul Scally on Wednesday despite winning two of their last four games in League One.

Taylor, 62 on Saturday, told BBC Radio Kent: "I didn't see it coming. If I'd got a call a couple of months ago I would have accepted it because there was run of one win in 12.

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Gillingham were improving -Taylor

"Recently our form has picked up. We have had a decent run."

He continued: "People don't fancy the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, but we are in the area final of that and the league form has been a lot better than it was at the start of the season."

Taylor had been in charge at Priestfield since October 2013, and guided the Kent club to 17th place in the table last season.

Peter Taylor at Gillingham
1999-00: P62 W34 D12 L16
Oct 2013-Dec 2014: P67 W23 D14 L30

Scally, who is based in Dubai, gave several reasons for sacking the former Hull and Crystal Palace boss, citing the abuse Taylor received from supporters and a disagreement over his preferred 5-3-2 formation.

"There are certain fans I could never have won over," Taylor admitted.

"There was negativity towards me, but my only concern with that was it rubbing off on the young players.

"There are a lot of teams playing the back five system, but Paul doesn't like it. I respect that because the beautiful thing about football is everyone has their opinions.

"We have won two of the last four matches playing that system and I feel that was maybe a bit harsh.

"We spoke on Wednesday and he upset me and I upset him.

"We've known each other a long time and have a lot of respect for each other but we are not friends at the minute. I'm sure as time goes by that'll pick up."

Paul Scally
Scally has not set a timescale on appointing a new manager, saying it is important to get the person who "is most appropriate for the team we have got"

Scally wants to appoint a "younger, more flamboyant manager" at Priestfield Stadium, a statement which one-time England manager Taylor described as disappointing.

"I think Paul has got more class than that," Taylor said.

"There's lots of different managers and styles out there. Yes, I am 62 on Saturday but I am still young enough and fit enough to be a manager. I think it was a little below the belt."

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