Joaquin Gomez does not sound bitter or frustrated as he looks back on a tough 10 months at Stoke City.
Gomez, who had worked with Nathan Jones at Brighton and Luton Town, arrived with the manager to replace Gary Rowett in January 2019 – tasked with sparking new, long-term life into a club stuck in Championship mid-table.
It did not go to plan and Stoke struggled for wins, struggled for goals and struggled for coherence before Jones, Gomez and Paul Hart left after 14 games of 2019/20, having picked up just eight points.
Jones has since been linked with vacancies at Bristol Rovers and Blackpool while working occasionally as an EFL pundit. Gomez went to coach at FC Cartagena in Spain’s third tier before earlier this month becoming number two at SJK Seinajoki in Finland.
In an extensive interview with The Athletic which looks back on his journey from waiter to the Championship, he hopes his time in the Potteries will stand him in good stead.
And he hopes for nothing but success for Stoke too.
He said: “We learnt as much, if not more (at Stoke than Luton). We are still in that time of reflecting how we weren’t able to succeed in the way we were able to before. I cannot put it down to one thing. There were many circumstances.
“It was a difficult time, a tough time for everyone. It hasn’t worked for other (Stoke) managers. I just hope it works for the next one (Michael O’Neill) because it’s a great club with a great set of fans, great owners.
“It’s about trying to turn a negative into a positive. Reflect on it and learn from it.”