Martin Allen is perfect fit for Forest Green, says Gillingham star Nelson
RIGHT MAN: Gillingham goalkeeper Stuart Nelson insists Martin Allen is the man for Forest Green Pic:Neil Brookman
STROUD-BORN goalkeeper Stuart Nelson insists his former Gillingham boss Martin Allen is the “perfect fit” for Forest Green.
Allen, 48, more commonly known as 'Mad Dog,' spent 16 months in charge of Gillingham, leading the club to the League Two title last season.
However, he was dismissed earlier this month after the Kent side won just two of their opening 11 games in the third tier.
A colourful character throughout a playing career that spanned clubs including Queens Park Rangers and West Ham, his days in management have followed a similar route. He is an unconventional man with unconventional methods, which Nelson feels would be a perfect marriage for the alternative road Forest Green chairman Dale Vince prefers.
Allen also worked with current Forest Green sports psychologist Alistair Smith at Leicester City and Cheltenham Town.
Nelson, 32, who has played under the ex-Leicester City, Notts County and Cheltenham Town boss at Brentford, Notts County and Gillingham feels Allen is the man to replace David Hockaday, who parted company with Rovers on monday by mutual consent.
He said: After working with Martin I would say his management style would come under the alternative title as well. It's different but I've seen it first hand and how it gets the best out of players. I would think Martin and Dale would both enjoy bouncing ideas off each other.
“Martin makes a big impact when he goes into a job. He gets results on-and- off the football pitch. He would get the club buzzing from top to bottom, involve everyone and get the best out of the players.
“His record of this is clear to see. Last season for example, he did exactly that when he came into Gillingham. The club had fell just short of making the play-offs in previous seasons and Martin came in and turned us into the league champions.”
Nelson started his football education under Hockaday at Cirencester Academy and feels the former Forest Green boss has left the New Lawn outfit in rude health.
“ I’m gutted for Hocky and it was sad to find out about his departure by mutual consent on Monday- he's a top man and a excellent coach.
"From the outside looking in Hocky has (with the help of the chairman) taken FGR from that little non- league club to a professional club in waiting. "Whoever gets the job next I believe will reap the rewards from the foundations Hocky has laid. He deserves great credit for the work he has done in the time he has been at FGR.
“I hope FGR get the right man in soon so the club can start climbing the table and give themselves the opportunity of fighting for promotion this season. Nothing would give me greater pleasure than FGR becoming a real footballing force. I'm a proud ‘Stroudie’ and would love to see the club make it into the Football League.”
Former Aldershot Town and AFC Wimbledon boss Terry Brown has emerged as the bookmakers’ clear favourite to succeed Hockaday at Forest Green. So far ex-Accrington Stanley manager John Coleman has declared an interest in the job and Jim Harvey is understood to be keen on a return to Nailsworth.
Rovers’ interim boss Gary Seward and coach Scott Bartlett are expected to guide the team for the next fortnight.
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