Scott Fitzgerald Hopes To Get The Bees Buzzing

New Bees boss Scott Fitzgerald (centre)
New Bees boss Scott Fitzgerald spoke to Brentford's Official Website about his step up from caretaker manager to permanently appointed manager on Thursday morning, Fitzgerald talking about the events of the last few weeks and his hopes for the future :

"I was absolutely delighted to accept and I can't wait to continue doing what I've been doing over the last few weeks since taking over in a Caretaker capacity. As each game passed I warmed to the challenge more and more. I'm just happy to be able to throw everything into this opportunity and also to be able to do it with my chosen assistant Alan Reeves. I believe it to be a fantastic opportunity and a great chance to help turn the current situation round.

"The squad I've inherited are a hard working set of lads who have responded well to the challenge we've set them so far. But we will most certainly be looking to bolster the squad during the impending transfer window in January. This will allow for competition for places in all areas of the team.

"I am looking to bring in a few players in January and I believe that the introduction of a few fresh faces around the squad, allied to the improvement shown recently will have the desired effect. In that respect the Appeal set up by the supporters themselves, The Fighting Chance Appeal, has been fantastic. I was gobsmacked when I first heard about it and now that it falls within my responsibility it is quite incredible.

"I have no particular targets although we are all aware of what most consider to be the safety line regarding points gained. But with games coming thick and fast, particularly over the Christmas/New Year period, you have to take each game as it comes."

Meanwhile, newly appointed assistant manager Alan Reeves, twin brother of one-time United star David, commented :

"I found out yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon when Scott called me and asked me if I would like to take up the challenge offered to him/us. I told him he didn't have to ask me twice. Terms were never an issue and I believe it to be a great opportunity for us both. It's an opportunity that doesn't come your way very often. But having said all that it was Scott's choice.

"How did we get to know each other? Well we'd first got to know each other when we were team mates at Wimbledon in the Premiership during the mid 1990s. We kept in touch over the years when I was at Swindon Town where I had been Assistant Manager under both Andy King and Iffy Onoura. Then recently I was working for Crawley Town and was travelling back from Altrincham Town on the team coach with Ryan Peters, who was on loan at the time, when he shouted out that Leroy Rosenior had parted company with Brentford.

"A short time later I got a call from Scott who asked if I would like to help him out as he had been offered the position of Caretaker Manager. He asked me to have a look over the team at the away game with Cheltenham and I watched them from the stands and spoke to Scott about my thoughts. The rest is history. Since then the transformation has been excellent with a marked improvement in each subsequent game.

"There are obviously areas which need to be strengthened and as Scott has said we are looking to do this in the transfer window which is coming up. There was certainly a lot of work needed after what I saw at Cheltenham but they've worked hard on their fitness levels and the resultant performances have shown that. They have shown an excellent attitude to the current situation we find ourselves in and that is part of the appeal of the job ahead. No one has shirked their own responsibilities.

"Together we've targeted the players we need to bring in, players who have good experience at this level and not players who are on the way down and looking to earn a bit here and there. We want players who are hungry and want to succeed. They are realistic targets or we wouldn't have identified them."

Scott Fitzgerald took over the caretaker managerial role at Griffin Park in late November after the sacking of Leroy Rosenior who had only spent five months in charge of the Bees. The ex-Torquay manager's contract being terminated on the 18th of November following a 16 game winless streak which culminated in a 4-0 loss to mid-table Crewe Alexandra, that seeing a call for his head from many fans.

37-year old ex-Wimbledon, Sheffield United, Millwall and Colchester centre-back Fitzgerald joined Brentford on a playing basis in March 2004. He retired as a player at the end of the 2005 season as he moved into the backroom staff, under then Bees boss Martin Allen, as youth team coach. His current spell in charge of the first team at Griffin Park has seen Brentford take just one point from four league games, although performances are reputed to have improved under his stewardship.

Apparently Fitzgerald was not the first choice to take over the managerial role on a permanent basis though, talks between Oxford United youth team coach Darren Patterson and potential assistant boss Gary Waddock and Brentford managing director Keith Dickens having apparently stalled on Tuesday afternoon just as the two were about to be offered the job of steering the cash-strapped Bees away from the relegation zone. The club then seemingly moved on to Fitzgerald, who many Brentford fans see as the cheap option, although he is thought to have impressed the selection panel with his plan on how to avoid the drop into League Two.

The Bees board of directors have still shown great faith in Fitzgerald though in opting for him in preference to several candidates with managerial experience, those apparently including Stuart Gray, Brian Little, Bobby Williamson and Kevin Wilson. Dickens commenting : "We did look at the full range of options, from experienced survival candidates, structuring management in different ways, other known-name candidates who were available and interested (and some who were not) - all of whom are not without risk and all of whom have their own price tags. Given our financial situation, we were unlikely to get a proven high-division manager, even though we did try to do so."