SWINDON Town skipper Nathan Thompson has called Luke Williams the best coach he has ever worked with but admits the writing was on the wall for the recently-departed head coach after he failed to help the club stave off relegation.
Williams was relieved of his duties at the County Ground on Friday by chairman Lee Power, with the club acting swiftly following the end of a torrid season that saw them drop into League Two.
Club captain Thompson, whose own future at Town is uncertain as his contract expires at the end of the month, has paid the highest possible tribute to Williams and is sad to see him leave the club, although he conceded that Town’s fate this season meant he was always likely to lose his job.
Speaking to BBC Wiltshire, Thompson said: “When you see a manager leave the club it’s difficult to take but I think after the relegation, it was maybe inevitable that it would happen.
“I have spoken to Luke and he seems relatively upbeat, as well as you can be after the news. I am sure he will bounce back.
“Managers each have their own style but Luke’s is very hands-on. He is on the pitch every single day, he is able to come down to whatever level – whether he is teaching 14 or 15-year-olds or is teaching senior pros – and he is able to relate to them constantly.
“I think that is massive in this game, that man-management side of things is so important. That’s why it’s so difficult to accept this season, the way that it’s finished and the fact that he has lost his job.
“It’s tough to take but I think if he is honest, he probably knew it was something that was around the corner.”
Williams was given a five-year contract as Town head coach last March after a successful caretaker stint in the wake of Martin Ling’s shock departure the previous December, having also served as number two behind Ling’s predecessor, Mark Cooper.
When asked whether or not he thought it was with reluctance that Williams first took up the role as head coach, Thompson was said: “It’s difficult to say and maybe not my position (to say).
“He was around it, he was a massive part of the year we got to the play-offs (in 2014-15) and it probably felt natural that he would step forward.
“Management and coaching is quite a different role. For me, he is the best coach I have ever worked with and I have worked with all sorts of managers and coaches.
“He is very hands-on and his eye for detail was second to none. That’s why I am sure that regardless of the situation we have found ourselves in, he will find another club and he will do well.”