Connect with us

News and Features

Shaun Derry on Gillingham: “I don’t deal with rumours”

Cambridge United boss has been installed as the odds-on favourite to take over at Priestfield, but he insists he’s focusing on his current job



Cambridge United manager Shaun Derry is currently the odds-on favourite to take over the managerial reins at Gillingham, but the former Crystal Palace, Millwall and Leeds midfielder wouldn’t be drawn on the speculation linking him with the vacancy at Priestfield.

Speaking to BBC Radio Cambridgeshire earlier this week, Derry played the rumours with a straight bat and good humour as he looked to maintain his professionalism in his current role as Cambridge United boss.

Derry had previously been linked with managerial vacancies at Hearts in Scotland and Chesterfield in England, and said he’d treat rumours linking him with the Gills post in exactly the same way.

“It’s like a broken record,” he said of the rumours earlier this week.

“I can only say what I said last week. Speculation will always travel around football, constantly.

“I’m sat here as the manager of Cambridge, and enjoying the job. I’m looking forward to Saturday, and that’s as far as it goes for me.

“It’s one of those situations where I just don’t look into it. I just come in, do my job, look forward and try and prepare as best as possible for Saturday. I think when you can really clear your head that way it helps you with your role that you’ve got and I think I’m doing a good job at that.”

The interviewer pointed out that the clubs he’s being linked with are getting increasingly closer to his Kent home, and Derry played along, joking: “Bromley are doing well this year!

“I follow them keenly. That’s our local club so…

“All laughs apart, [speculation] is part of the game and you get it at every level.”

At time of writing Derry is the 2/9 favourite with Skybet and 2/5 with BetVictor to take over at Priestfield.

His odds shortened significantly following the news that Mansfield Town had denied Gillingham permission to approach their manager, Steve Evans, earlier this week.

And when approached by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire again ahead of this weekend’s games, he appeared politely non-committal, stopping short of saying he wouldn’t be the next Gills boss.

“It’s obviously sticking around and rumours are circulating,” he said.

“But I don’t deal with rumours, I just deal with facts. And the facts are I’m looking forward to Saturday.

“I think everybody that knew me as a player knew that my sole focus was on the club that I represented. And the club that I’m representing is Cambridge. That is my sole focus.”

But when pressed to state for the record that he definitely wouldn’t be Gillingham’s next manager, Derry’s response – and his delivery – became significantly less decisive.

“Well, listen. I have to make this perfectly clear to everybody, you know? I am the manager of Cambridge United and until I’m told otherwise… if anything happens to spring to mind… I don’t know.

“I’m the head coach of Cambridge United, and that’s as far as, you know, all the information I need to give to you guys and to anybody else is that I lead the guys, I lead the team out and I lead everything that takes place on that training ground.

“All speculation is dealt with [through] other people, not through me.”