Joey Barton has explained he was looking for experience in his new coaching appointment after the departure of Clint Hill.
Kevin Bond – Harry Redknapp’s former assistant at the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Portsmouth, Queens Park Rangers and Birmingham City – was appointed first-team coach at Rovers on Saturday.
Barton had a vacancy in his staff after assistant manager Hill quit earlier this month for “personal reasons”, and he believes Bond, aged 64, brings important qualities to the Gas as they vie to get their season on track.
“I worked with Bondy at QPR,” Barton said. “We’ve had a great rapport in the past and he was a key driver in getting the play-off push and the team together.
“Kev was huge and he obviously comes from working with Harry Redknapp for a long period, and Champions League football at Spurs and lots of lots of experience. His dad was also an elite-level manager and part of the West Ham golden era.
“He’s 64, Kev. I felt I needed some experience there. I’m a young coach, I’m 38 and I know I look a lot older since I’ve come to Bristol Rovers.
“I felt we just needed a different voice and a different experienced opinion.”
Bond was in attendance for Rovers’ 4-1 humbling by Exeter City on Saturday, and Barton says part of the former Southend United and Bournemouth boss’ remit will be to share his early impressions of the club and where things can be improved.
“Kev’s been in this week having a look around. We’ll get some feedback,” Barton added.
“He’s probably shell-shocked after the first 45 minutes, but I think he’ll be a really good component in moving the coaching group into a different space.”