Graham Coughlan: Bristol Rovers appoint caretaker boss as manager

Graham Coughlan
Rovers have won three and drawn one since Graham Coughlan first took charge for the defeat at Sunderland on 15 December

Bristol Rovers have appointed caretaker boss Graham Coughlan as their manager on a two-and-a-half-year deal.

The 44-year-old ex-Plymouth Argyle and Sheffield Wednesday defender had been in interim charge since former boss Darrell Clarke's exit on 13 December.

"I believe I've shown I'm capable of building on the great work that Darrell Clarke has done," said the Irishman.

Rovers won three of his five games in caretaker charge, moving out of the League One relegation zone.

Prior to that, they had lost eight times in 10 games. But they are now above 21st-placed Bradford City on goal difference.

Rovers' next two matches are away from home - at Northampton in the EFL Trophy on Tuesday, then at Accrington on Saturday.

After a 19-year playing career with Bray Wanderers, Blackburn Rovers, Swindon Town (loan), Livingston, Plymouth, Wednesday, Burnley (loan), Rotherham United, Shrewsbury Town and Southend United, this is Dublin-born Coughlan's first job as a manager.

'We all share the same vision'

Chief executive Martyn Starnes said: "I have met Graham, [development coach] Chris Hargreaves and [head of recruitment] Tommy Widdrington to discuss further our plans in the current transfer window.

"We all share the same vision and are all entirely committed to doing what is required for the club to continue to improve."

Coughlan added: "I would like to extend my greatest thanks to the supporters, staff and board who have been outstanding in the time I have been in charge.

"I'd also like to place on note my particular thanks also to Martyn Starnes for the hard work and professionalism that he has shown throughout this process."

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."

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