Bristol Rovers Chairman gives his full backing to Mark McGhee
Chairman Nick Higgs remains confident Mark McGhee is the right man to lift Bristol Rovers out of their poor run of form.
The Pirates dropped to third-from-bottom of League Two after a 4-0 defeat at Port Vale on Tuesday night and McGhee has come under increasing pressure from sections of frustrated supporters.
Higgs, however, yesterday confirmed McGhee retains his full backing and that the pair are working together in a bid to add fresh faces to the squad before Saturday's game against Bradford at the Memorial Stadium.
Higgs said: "I'm 100 per cent behind Mark. We work together and discuss things on a regular basis, as a chairman and manager should do.
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"We are both aware of the gravity of our situation in the league and we are determined to dig ourselves out of it.
"The last couple of weeks have not been acceptable. It has been a bit of a shambles at times and that is just not good enough.
"We're not paying peanuts for these players and they have to perform better. I find it difficult to believe where we are, because at times this season the players have shown what they are capable of.
"The frustrating thing for me is that these players seem incapable of taking the qualities they show day-in-day-out on the training field and replicating them for 90 minutes on the pitch."
McGhee has been offered mitigation over recent weeks because of a mounting injury crisis, which has meant the loss of a number of key players, and Higgs added: "We have suffered from a particularly aggressive injury list.
"I've never experienced a season where we have so many injuries. I'm not using that as an excuse, I'm using it as a reason.
"The other problem we've had is that when we have got one player coming back, we've lost another and that has meant we've had to play players out of position."
Playing players out of position is one of the criticisms supporters have levelled at the manager over recent games, but Higgs added: "Mark is the manager and I absolutely do not get involved in those (team selection) decisions. It is Mark's job to pick the team and not for me to interfere in that.
"I can understand the supporters' frustrations because there is no doubt that playing players out of position has an impact on performances.
"It is something myself and Mark have talked about, but the simple fact of the matter is that we have yet to have a full squad available to us this season.
"When we do, I'm certain we'll see players playing in their right positions."
Tom Parkes is the latest player McGhee will have to do without for the foreseeable future after the defender left Vale Park with a suspected broken ankle.
Parkes yesterday confirmed his injury was not as bad as initially feared, but will still be missing for a number of weeks.
Higgs added: "I have been speaking with Mark at some length over the last couple of days with regards to strengthening the squad."
It is understood goalkeeper Neil Etheridge has been recalled by Fulham because he is to join up with the first-team squad and act as Mark Schwarzer's understudy in the weeks leading up to Christmas.
Rovers, however, have not given up hope of bringing the Philippines international back to Bristol in January, on a temporary deal for the remainder of the season.