Town can expect no favours from Mariner

IPSWICH Town can expect no favours from their former striker Paul Mariner when they play Plymouth Argyle in the Championship at Home Park tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

Elvin King

IPSWICH Town can expect no favours from their former striker Paul Mariner when they play Plymouth Argyle in the Championship at Home Park tomorrow (kick-off 3pm).

So says another Ipswich Town legend Kevin Beattie who was a team mate of Mariner in the Blues side and for England.

Mariner has joined Argyle as head coach having resigned his coaching post with USA club New England Revolution at the weekend.

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He watched from the dug-out as Plymouth lost 3-1 at Bristol City on Tuesday and his appointment is officially being announced this afternoon.

“Paul has earned himself a fine reputation as a coach in the States,” said Beattie. “He'll want to make an impact as soon as possible and he'll not be doing Ipswich any favours tomorrow.

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“Paul likes to be one of the lads, but he is a strong character and can come down hard when he has to.

“I have heard from my contacts in the States what a good coach he is and I'm sure he will do well back in England.

“I didn't play against him many times but when I did he was one of the hardest I met. He could certainly put himself about.”

Mariner's involvement back with Plymouth - where he played for three years before joining Ipswich as a player in 1976 - began when they approached him about becoming an ambassador to promote their bid for host city status for the 2018 English World Cup bid.

He is Argyle's most famous player and a delegation from the city went over to the States to see him.

This led to his return to Plymouth this week, and there is speculation that he could take over from manager Paul Sturrock in the medium term.

Sturrock's assistant manager Kevin Summerfield left last week and the departure of defensive coach John Blackley is set to be announced at any time.

This leaves Sturrock with Mariner, 53, and goalkeeping coach Geoff Crudgington to run the first team with a recent change at board level signalling a new five-year plan and a suggestion of more changes on the managerial front.

Sturrock appreciates there is plenty of work to be done for a club one point ahead of bottom-placed Ipswich.

“With Paul's arrival we have put a freshness to the coaching side of the club, but there's a lot more to be done,” said Sturrock.

“A five-year plan is approaching in December so there are a lot of things happening, which are going to be significant to where this club finishes up over the next five or 10 seasons.”

Paul Mariner coaching career

1989-91: assistant player coach Albany Capitals

1992: assistant coach San Francisco Bay Blackhawks

2003: assistant coach Harvard University

2004-09: assistant coach New England Revolution

N (SQUARE) He has also coached at Bolton School, England and youth players at SC Del Sol, Phoenix, Arizona.

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