Bristol Rovers have officially announced the appointment of Graham Coughlan has the clubs permanent first-team manager.
The Irishman had been in caretaker charge since the departure of Darrell Clarke in December. His five games at the temporary helm saw the Gas win three and draw one and move out of the League One relegation zone, form which was impressive enough to convince the board to offer him a two and a half year contract.
Club president, Wael Al-Qadi said “From early on in his interim role, we saw something in Graham that suggested he was the right man to take this football club forward. We are really happy that Graham has committed his future to the club and we wish him every success here.”
Coughlan was delighted to get the job, “I have made it no secret of my desire to take over on a permanent basis and I am thrilled to be the man the club have trusted to take us forward.”
Coughlan’s first game in permanent charge will be Rovers Checkatrade Trophy Third Round clash at Northampton Town on Tuesday evening.
Fan reaction was generally positive on the appointment; the only concerns raised were over the length of the contract given to someone in their first full-time job as a manager. Many felt that it would have been more prudent to give the former Plymouth Argyle defender the job until the end of the season to see how he fared before offering a longer deal.
Here is a selection of responses on Twitter.
Why 2 year deal, end of season then look at how things are going, I like him but think this is the cheap option
— ds (@seager_ds) January 6, 2019
Very mixed feelings on this. Of course I will support him but when this honeymoon period is over we will see how we all feel then. Also I long length contract this I feel.
— Mark Holliday ⚽??? (@markhol1982) January 6, 2019
Fantastic news, thought it might be till the end of season though and then look at it again but I'm well pleased for him
— Julie webb (@juliewebb4212) January 6, 2019
well deserved rovers been on a superb run
since losing 2-1 at sunderland??
— kev (@askernkev1) January 6, 2019
Congratulations GC! Well deserved after the last 4 games come on the Gas!!
— Katy pullin (@Kpz2005) January 6, 2019
Best decision if you think about it, none of the managers that were being branded about stood out. And a few would of been a bigger gamble than Coughlan, he knows the club and players already also sounds like he knows what he wants or needs this January, #UTG #BristolRovers
— ✌ Lucas ☠ (@lukeyy9) January 6, 2019
Great news. Very well deserved based on performances and results, and it's always best to recruit from within if you have a good candidate, which Clark and now Coughlan obviously were. Onwards and upwards. Very well done. UTG!
— Marcus (@Elmhart) January 6, 2019
Two and a half years based on a handful of games, surely better to go to the end of the season then review. Wish him all the best anyway…#utg
— Hub&Bub 25 (@DasFive) January 6, 2019
Correct appointment and I’m right behind him but why a long deal for a guy getting his first job in management? He’s being rewarded regardless of the outcome this season which is utter madness.
— Nick Turner (@nickturner1883) January 6, 2019