Graham Coughlan: Mansfield Town appoint Bristol Rovers manager as new boss

Graham Coughlan
Graham Coughlan led Bristol Rovers to 15th last season and fourth this term in his first manager's job

Bristol Rovers boss Graham Coughlan has left the League One club to take charge of League Two side Mansfield Town.

Rovers "reluctantly" gave the Stags permission to talk to Coughlan on Monday, after rejecting two approaches.

The 45-year-old has succeeded John Dempster, who was sacked on Saturday.

Coughlan said the ambition and facilities at Mansfield, plus the opportunity to be based closer to his Sheffield home, made the club "an absolutely mammoth attraction".

He takes over with Mansfield 18th in League Two, seven points above the relegation zone.

By contrast, Rovers are fourth in the third tier, just two points off an automatic promotion place and in contention for a surprise promotion to the Championship.

Coughlan added: "I've been living in this part of the country for the best part of 20 years and it's an honest, hardworking area - that's what I am and that's the background I've come from.

"That's all we drummed into the players at Bristol Rovers. If you're not honest and you're not hardworking, you won't have any place at this football club.

"We will be honest, we will be hardworking and we will wear that jersey with pride. That's all I ask of the players."

Rovers 'on road' to appointing new manager

Coughlan revealed he was considering his future with Rovers after Saturday's win at Ipswich, telling BBC Radio Bristol: "I don't know where I can take this football club.

"I've got decisions to make in my own personal life and my own career. I'm going to make that decision with my wife and kids."

Asked if his decision would be based on personal or professional reasons, Coughlan answered: "It's both. How far can we go with the club? How far can we take it? I don't know."

He signed a two-and-a-half-year deal as Rovers boss in January 2019, after an initial spell in caretaker charge.

Chief executive Martyn Starnes told BBC Points West on Tuesday: "We are already on the road to looking at a replacement manager.

"Ideally I'd like to make an appointment by the weekend, but I think that's unlikely."

Starnes has also indicated that Rovers may consider offers for star striker Jonson Clarke-Harris in January.

He said: "Every player has a value. If an offer came in we'd have to consider whether it's in the best interests of the club."

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