Bristol Rovers’ managerial hunt continues, with Neil Lennon and Karl Robinson now both out of the frame, according to journalist Darren Witcoop.
The Gas have been on the search for a new head coach since parting company with Joey Barton at the end of last month following a run of one win in five League One fixtures. Andy Mangan has taken the reins on a temporary basis over the last few weeks, overseeing an impressive run which has coincided with progression in the FA Cup and the EFL Trophy, as well as a surge up the table.
With the 37-year-old yet to taste defeat, it is understood that he is in the frame to succeed Barton permanently, although a number of candidates have been interviewed. The likes of Ian Holloway, Garry Monk and Kevin Maher have all been linked, with former Oxford United boss Karl Robinson previously considered one of the frontrunners.
Earlier this week, ex-Celtic manager Neil Lennon emerged as a shock contender, but he could be considered for the Republic of Ireland role in the near future. According to Witcoop, the 52-year-old is not under consideration, whilst Robinson also appears to be out of the frame.
As it stands, Neil Lennon no longer under consideration for Bristol Rovers manager’s job and Karl Robinson also out of picture. Talks with candidates ongoing but the longer it drags on, the Andy Mangan option gets stronger #BRFC #bristolrovers
— Darren Witcoop (@DarrenOWitcoop) November 19, 2023
Continuing, the journalist claims that talks are still ongoing with candidates, although the length of time the appointment is taking strengthens Mangan’s chances of landing his first managerial role. The former Wrexham and Fleetwood Town striker admitted last week that he would be ‘one of the proudest men ever’ should he be given the opportunity. Speaking to Bristol Live, he said;
“I’ve also got loads of respect for Joe (Barton) so for me to say that would be massively disrespectful. It would be difficult for me to say I want the job. It wouldn’t be the right thing to do.
“All I can do is keep winning games of football. If the owners decide they want to give me the job then I’ll be one of the proudest men ever. I would be delighted to take over. All I can keep doing is keep winning games of football. I think you can see the lads are all together so we’ve just got to take it from there.”
Rovers’ fixture against Fleetwood was postponed yesterday due to international call-ups. They will resume League One football next weekend when they take the trip to Derby County.
Bristol Rovers are taking their time in appointing Joey Barton’s successor and it is clear that they are taking this decision seriously. They are a club that harbour ambitions of playing in the Championship and they will want to get this right.
Whilst Mangan hasn’t been first choice, it is impossible to ignore the scale of the job he has done since taking on the interim role and he will be quietly confident that he will be given a permanent shot. It will be interesting to see if an announcement is made before next weekend’s fixture.