There's no disharmony at Bristol Rovers, says chairman Nick Higgs
CHAIRMAN Nick Higgs has slammed rumours of dressing-room disharmony at Bristol Rovers and remains confident Mark McGhee is the right manager to take the club forward.
The Pirates dropped into the League Two relegation zone after losing 1-0 at home to Dagenham and Redbridge on Saturday and a group of angry fans stayed on after the final whistle to chant their dissatisfaction in the direction of the boardroom.
In an exclusive interview for The Post, Higgs, pictured, reacted by admitting he had "every sympathy" with the protesting supporters and "shared their frustration".
But he added: "One thing I can quash is any suggestion the players are not doing their best for Mark McGhee. I know there are rumours to that effect, but I have seen situations where the manager has lost the dressing room and that is absolutely not the case at the moment.
"I see no evidence of the team not trying. We are simply not taking our chances when on top and have been guilty of some kamikaze defending.
"Mark was brought to the club because we felt he was the right man to do a long-term job and that remains the case.
"Plans are already in place to strengthen the squad after Christmas. We have a list of targets and have been meeting up with agents over the past ten days.
"There is no problem between Mark and the players already here. We just can't seem to get it right on the pitch at the moment and no one is more frustrated about that than I am.
"The supporters pay their money and are entitled to criticise at times like this. I understand their feelings and accept that the reaction to Saturday's result was one built up over a number of weeks.
"I can assure them that everyone at the club is working as hard as possible to turn things around. Relegation from League Two is a frightening prospect that cannot be ignored, but I firmly believe we will climb the table. The last thing I want to do is destabilise the club with another managerial change. The board will continue to back Mark and the players as much as we possibly can."
McGhee emerged from the Dagenham defeat to stress he was "as enthusiastic about the job as on day one". He added: "This club will not be in the Conference next season. I have absolutely no doubts about that.
"Either I will turn it around with the players I have here and those we add after Christmas or what happens in football will happen and someone else will be given the opportunity.
"I have no doubts whatsoever about my ability to do the job. I remain positive about being here and about the club's future.
"The board have backed me to the full when it comes to bringing in the players I want and I take full responsibility for every signing made.
"Our wage budget is very competitive in League Two and I have no complaints at all about the supporters, who have stuck behind us through a difficult time.
"We have lost key players to injuries, but that situation is improving and the next transfer window will see comings and goings. I haven't been in the job a year yet and the window system makes it hard to transform things overnight."
Garry Kenneth's knee injury, which saw him substituted in the closing stages of the Dagenham game, was being assessed today. Matt Lund will return from suspension for Saturday's trip to York City.