Bristol Rovers: 'Wheels won't come off' after Graham Coughlan exit, says CEO

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'We did everything we could' to keep Coughlan

The "wheels will not come off" at League One high-flyers Bristol Rovers after manager Graham Coughlan's departure for Mansfield Town, insists Rovers chief executive Martyn Starnes.

Rovers are fourth in the table after a year under Coughlan's management, having finished 15th last season.

He left to join a Stags side who are 18th in League Two, but nearer to the Irishman's Sheffield-based family.

"We did everything we could [to keep him]," Starnes told BBC Points West.

"I'm disappointed because I had a really good relationship with Graham and felt he was doing an excellent job here.

"I continue to have a lot of respect for the man and he'll continue to be a friend. In fairness, he's apologised to me for the way he went about things.

"Working away from home for such a long time can be quite grinding on anybody, and when you've got a young family that you're not seeing very often, I understand it from that point of view."

Rovers - who have not played in the second tier since 1993 - are unbeaten in League One since October and just two points off an automatic promotion place.

"The wheels aren't going to come off. We're very happy with the staff we have got here," Starnes added.

"I'd be quite relaxed about even going through the Christmas period with the staff we have got, to be honest with you.

"When we think we have got the right person, we'll make the appointment. If we have got people who are available and can attend interviews as early as this week then we may see them.

"We're fourth in the league - it's a very attractive job for the right person."