Ex-Newcastle United midfielder opens up on his 'frustrating' spell as manager

Former Newcastle United midfielder Matty Pattison has reflected on his “frustrating” spell as manager of Northern League Division One club Whickham.
Matty Pattison in his Gateshead playing days.Matty Pattison in his Gateshead playing days.
Matty Pattison in his Gateshead playing days.

The former South Africa international was named as success to former manager Robin Falcus in November – but left the club after last Saturday’s goalless home draw against West Auckland Town.

He left the role with the Lang Jacks sat at the bottom of the Division One table after Whickham won just one of his ten games in charge.

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That run of form led to online speculation that Pattison had been sacked by the club – but the reason behind his decision to depart was the offer of a coaching role with the first team at former club Gateshead.

Pattison played a part in Heed training on Thursday lunchtime and after the session he looked back at his three-month stint as Lang Jacks manager.

He told The Gazette: “I think the experience was the biggest thing I took from my time at the club.

“It probably came earlier than I expected it would have done.

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“With me taking the Gateshead Under-19s’ job, I had a little bit of experience in the dressing room and working with players as a coach.

“So, although the transition wasn’t easy, there was something there and I thought the move would be good for my future.

“It was tough because we couldn’t get the numbers - players were injured and some were away at times with work.

“It was tough for John (Oster, assistant manager) and me to get a regular starting eleven.

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“We couldn’t get that consistency, and when we thought we were getting there we kept getting pegged back.

“That was frustrating but sometimes that happens, and you just have to accept that.

“I think I’ll be better for the experience.”

Whickham wasted little time in making an appointment as former Sunderland, Darlington and York City winger Mark Convery was named as Pattison’s replacement on Monday afternoon.

He said: “I had a good chat with Mark and the key is getting his best players fit and all of them in the squad at once.”