Bristol Rovers chairman Nick Higgs deserves a lot of credit for acting so decisively, says Leroy Rosenior
LEROY Rosenior insists Bristol Rovers chairman Nick Higgs deserves immense credit for taking decisive action this week.
Writing in The Post recently, football columnist Rosenior called upon the Pirates chief to put worried fans out of their misery by revealing his plan of action to keep the club in the Football League.
Within 24 hours, Rovers had lost 4-1 at York City and parted company with manager Mark McGhee.
And it took only another two days for Higgs to unveil John Ward as manager at a Memorial Stadium press conference after persuading the 61-year-old to return for a second spell in charge.
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Ward becomes Rovers' fourth permanent manager in two years and Higgs and his fellow directors have been subjected to bitter criticism from angry supporters who have questioned their judgment. Yet Rosenior has jumped to Higgs' defence, claiming it is easy to be wise with the benefit of hindsight.
He said: "When Nick Higgs appointed Paul Buckle 18 months ago, everyone thought it was the right decision. I certainly didn't hear any fans moaning back then.
"It was the same with Mark McGhee when he first arrived. I think Rovers fans were impressed that Higgs had managed to bring in someone of Mark's pedigree and everyone thought it was the right appointment at the time. Unfortunately, things do not always work out they way you want them or think they will in football and, in the end, it became clear neither Paul Buckle or Mark McGhee could improve things.
"I know the fans have had to endure a lot and are entitled to their opinion, but it is easy to be critical after the event. I would wager most of them felt differently when the appointments were made.
"Rovers wanted a young, ambitious manager and then needed an experienced one. Neither one worked out and they have to put it down to experience and move on."
Rosenior added: "The important thing was to act decisively and Higgs has certainly done that.
"I wrote in The Post last week that something had to happen one way or the other and the decision to remove Mark McGhee was the right one. If anything, it came a week later than it should have done.
"One of my colleagues on the Footbal League Show is an ardent Rovers fan and he was jumping up and down when the team were 4-1 down in half-an-hour at York, because he knew they would have to sack the manager. That is how bad things had become!
"But credit to the chairman for acting so decisively. I must say, to have a man of John Ward's calibre in place so soon afterwards was pleasantly surprising."