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Bristol Rovers part company with manager Darrell Clarke

:Headline: Bristol Rovers part company with manager Darrell Clarke:
Clarke has been in charge for over four years.
PA | 7mo

Darrell Clarke has left his job as Bristol Rovers manager with immediate effect with the club lying 21st in Sky Bet League One after a difficult start to the season.

The 40-year-old has been manager for four years, guiding the club to successive promotions from the Conference and League Two.

But, with Rovers currently in the relegation zone, Clarke has left the club after six years at the Memorial Stadium.

A statement on the club’s website read: “Darrell Clarke has been a loyal servant of Bristol Rovers Football Club for nearly six years, initially as John Ward’s assistant, then progressing to first team manager.

“A role in which he has enjoyed considerable success with promotions from the Conference and from League 2 before consolidating the club’s position in League 1 over the last two years.

“This season commenced with optimism and high expectations of a challenge for the play-off places but results and performances have been disappointing.

“After much soul searching and lengthy deliberations it has been mutually agreed that it is probably in the best interests of the club and of Darrell Clarke to seek a fresh way forward. Darrell leaves the club with immediate effect and on amicable terms.

“The board would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Darrell for the hard work and dedication he has shown to the club and the positive effect he’s had on players, staff and supporters during his tenure.

“Darrell will remain a friend of the club and will no doubt achieve further success in his career after a deserved break. Everyone at Bristol Rovers wishes him well for the future.”

Following Clarke’s departure Graham Coughlan will take temporary charge of the team starting with the game at Sunderland on Saturday.

He will be assisted by coaches Chris Hargreaves and Brian Dutton.

Assistant manager Marcus Stewart has left the club after asking to be released from his contract.

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