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Club News


17 December 2012

Ward will take charge of Rovers until the end of the season

Bristol Rovers are delighted to announce the appointment of John Ward as their new manager.

Ward will be returning to the club initially until the end of the season.

Chairman Nick Higgs said: “Initially, John’s contract will be until the end of the current campaign, but it is the intention to extend his contract, with the agreement of both parties at the end of the season.

“It is vitally important that we bring somebody to manage the club that has Rovers connections and understands the Bristol Rovers values and John is the perfect candidate for this role.

“Hopefully, under John Ward’s guidance, we will return the pride to our club which has clearly been lacking on the pitch for the past few years, and to this end, I ask the players, staff and fans to get behind John and help him take us forward.”

Mark McGhee was relieved of his duties on Saturday afternoon following a string of disappointing results.

Nick said: “Following the 4-1 defeat at York on Saturday I made the difficult decision to relieve Mark Mcghee from his duties at the club.

“This was decision was the finally arrived at after consideration of the recent poor performances and our current position in League 2.

“There was a need to take decisive action and this was done following the final whistle on Saturday. I had no choice but to act now while we still have sufficient time to make whatever changes are necessary to get us out of the current predicament we find ourselves in.

“With the January transfer window looming we need to have somebody in place with time to assess the current playing staff and be ready to act once the window opens.

“I would like to place on record my thanks to Mark for his efforts; however the club must now move on.”

This will be John Ward’s second spell as manager of Bristol Rovers. He was previously in charge between 1993 and 1996. He was appointed manager in March 1993, too late to stop Rovers being relegated to Division Two.

During the 1994/95 season Ward led Rovers to Wembley, where they lost 2-1 in the play off finals to Huddersfield.

Throughout his three year spell in charge he won 64 out of 149 league matches, led the club to the Southern Final of the Auto Windscreen Shield and reached that play off final.

Ward began his managerial career at York City in 1991, after a playing career that saw him turn out for Lincoln, Watford and Grimsby.

Following his spell at Rovers, he went on to manage Bristol City within a year of leaving Rovers, before becoming assistant manager at Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he went on to take caretaker charge following the departure of Colin Lee.

Ward was appointed Cheltenham Town manager in 2003, guiding them to promotion to League One at the end of the 2005/06 season.

He then moved to Carlisle United in 2007, and guided them to a play off position in his first year in charge.

He then joined Colchester United as assistant manager under Aidy Boothroyd in September 2009. Boothroyd left to take charge of Coventry in May 2010 and Ward took over as manager.

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