UK ATHLETICS head coach Charles van Commenee may be a controversial figure to some British athletes, but long-jumper Chris Tomlinson believes the tough-talking Dutchman can help Team GB achieve their medal target at the London 2012 Olympics.

Tomlinson, 30, admits he and Van Commenee have had shouting matches down the phone at each other, while triple jumper Phillips Idowu has fallen out completely with the head coach.

But Tomlinson, from Middlesbrough, believes Van Commenee has already proved his worth to the team.

Tomlinson said: ‘‘Charles is a controversial figure to say the least.

‘‘I have know him for a long period of time now and his job is to pick the team and make sure the athletes are going in the right direction, and he has been doing that.

‘‘Charles will sit down with me and what he tells me is pretty much what I am thinking.

‘‘I get on very well with him and have always done so.

He’s the sort of guy that we will speak on the phone, he will shout at me and I will shout at him, but ultimately we are singing from the same hymn sheet.

‘‘However, an athlete is an individual character and it is not a team sport.

‘‘Charles is a smart bloke and knows what motivates the athletes. But we have disagreed on some things and I will do what I think is best for me, and an athlete’s personal coach is the most important person for them.’’ Tomlinson, who regained the British record in July, fell foul of his own coach Frank Attoh after continuing to jump in the World Championships in Daegu last month despite a knee injury.

It was ultimately futile, with the injury meaning Tomlinson finished 11th – matching his personal best would have secured silver – but he realises he should have pulled out earlier.

He added: ‘‘It was a bitter pill to swallow. I’ve had to put on a brave face but deep down I have been hurting.

‘‘It was stupid really. My coach shouted at me afterwards and he had every right to. It’s the way I am as a person, I just jump with my heart when sometimes it would be better to use my head.’’ Tomlinson has moved from the North-East to London to prepare for next year’s Olympics, but he warned that all athletes should not take success for granted just because they are competing in front of a home crowd.

He said: "People may think you can just bounce into the stadium because there are going to be 80,000 people cheering you on but you still have to have a strategy and a plan in place."

• Chris Tomlinson stars in a new Cadbury Dairy Milk advert for its Keep Singing Keep Team GB Pumped campaign, as part of its London 2012 sponsorship, which aims to get the nation singing along to show their support for Team GB. For more information visit