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Fans surprised as Newport part company with manager by ‘mutual consent’

Fans have been left surprised as Newport County confirm the decision to part company with manager Graham Coughlan by ‘mutual consent’.

The 49 year old departs Rodney Parade after 20 months in charge and having guided the Exiles to 18th in League Two last season.

Coughlan replaced James Rowberry at County in October 2022, ensuring the club avoided a relegation battle after a difficult start to the season.

Amid financial concerns at the start of the 2023-24 season, the former Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth manager oversaw an impressive start to the campaign that included an FA Cup run and a money-spinning fourth-round tie with eventual winners Manchester United.

A slump in form at the end of the season saw them lose eight successive games and renew questions over Coughlan’s long-term future.

Jenkins, who completed his takeover of the previously fan-owned club in January 2024, had publicly backed the Irishman.

However, it had always been thought that the former Swansea chairman would be keen to appoint his own manager, with the club now beginning the search for a successor.

Newport’s players are due back for pre-season on 1 July, with the club now keen for a head coach-style appointment to work with Jenkins.


Newport County can confirm that manager Graham Coughlan has left his post at the club by mutual consent.

Chairman Huw Jenkins confirmed: “I have total respect for Graham and found this decision particularly difficult to make considering all the hard work he has put in to help stabilise the club over the last 18 months.

“It goes without saying that I wish Graham every success in his future managerial career.

“However, moving forward I must take the club and the team in a different direction and stay true to my own beliefs which I feel over time will bring sustained success to Newport County and hopefully change the club’s outlook for many years ahead.’’

The club would like to wish Graham good luck for the future and will endeavour to keep supporters updated on the appointment of a new head coach ahead of the forthcoming campaign.

In April, chairman Huw Jenkins had initially backed Graham Coughlan to continue as Newport County boss despite a slump in form.

Newport had been two points outside the League Two playoff places in mid-March but slipped out of top-seven contention after seven straight losses.

Despite that, Jenkins, who became the club’s new chairman after completing a takeover of the club in January, said that Coughlan and his staff have had “an excellent season”.

“You can’t fault the job they’ve done,” he said in an interview on BBC Radio Wales Sport.

“I’ve got no plans to change the manager, I’m more than happy with how things are. It’s now about finding some consistency and that includes going into the summer, regrouping and going again.”

He said at the time his main priority was to “very quickly get the club back on a better financial footing”.

“I think what Graham had to deal with from the start of the season onwards and the way they’ve dealt with it has been excellent,” Jenkins added.

“I think hopefully I can provide him with my help and experience going forward and it can help the club in all ways.”

At the time, Coughlan said he was “suffering” after his side lost to Salford.

“When you don’t win it hurts and my question to a number of the players is does it hurt them as badly as it does me and the fans,” he added.

“I am not daft, I am an experienced coach and player with nearly 1500 games under my belt. I have not seen a group of lads fall away the way we have.

“We lack leadership – there are no generals – and we can’t string passes together. It’s not nice. The injuries have really hurt us and the 57 or 58 games has killed us as well.”

As mentioned, some fans were surprised as Newport part company with boss by ‘mutual consent’, this is the Twitter reaction…

@OffTheLineBlog: Ridiculous. You mean to say that #NCAFC have waited 54 DAYS since the end of the season and only then have made the decision to get rid of Coughlan? Jenkins should’ve got rid of GC on 28th April after MD #46 if he wanted to change. 🏆 The “L2 Basket Case Cup” is back.

@TomiCaws: Seems a crazy decision that.

@LloydeeHarper: I don’t even know anymore, the man deserved time to implement his style which we saw last season in glimpses. Truly baffling decision

@CountyIssy: What?! Shocked and hugely disappointed. Thank you for everything Graham. Really sad it ended this way 🥺

@Gwebb125: This surely has to be a joke?!

@brimble_damon1: Why now? If we were going to make the change why not straight after the season ended, pre season starts next week

@BillOKeefe14: Has been great for County. I wonder what’s happened? Has he got a better offer?

@greatvorn: Disappointing, not sure why this couldn’t have happened at the end of the season as the rumours were rife that the new owner wanted him out

@ajharding1999: Bit out of nowhere that. Thank you for everything gaffer and all the best


@harrycullen99: What an absolute joke

@davidmorgan359: 10 players. No manager. Nice pitch though.

@carlpetemalone: Done a great job !

@Gabe2836: Huh

@JackPennellsUTC: My heads gone

@DanPayne59: 😦😦😦

@ChrisEddy_7: Christ 😳

@NDYLFC: What!!! Owain

@lixtono1: WTF

@Jamesedwa19: Sorry what 😭

@MikeGreenYT: WTF

@christi21943013: What on earth!!!

@CMG_Reds: From the outside seems a crazy decision

@sgred06: Shame did his best under difficult circumstances.

@jayden19272: 🤯🤯🤯🤯 WTAF

@Stu_75: Absolutely disgusting how he has been treated. First thing the new chairman does is kick out a man that gave his heart and sole for the club in more ways then people will ever know. Good luck Graham and Joe you deserve so much better.

@Chris13828347: No players and now no manager!! Wtf is going on

@Liam6jones: Jesus. We’re in the shit. No manager, 10 players and pre season starts next week, not looking good

@CashmereKnits: Think we’d have been well placed in keeping him in place and backing him, and if Jenkins wanted a change why back him publicly at the end of the season? GC deserves a huge amount of respect for what he did for us in some trying circumstances. Will be missed. Trust the process..🔶

@diesel_y2j: Fucking hell, I hope Huw Jenkins has got a plan because this absolutely stinks.

@dangrace97: Did a brilliant job in very difficult circumstances. I’m sure he leaves with the best wishes of everyone at the club. Jenkins and Coughlan always seemed an awkward fit though. At least this has happened now and not 6 games into the season

@Absolutecounty: So shocked at this especially the timing of it… Surely if your to change manager it’s at the end of a season not a nearly 2 months after. I wish Graham nothing but the best for what he did at the club and the way he guided us through difficult waters. #NCAFC | #EFL

@1matthewburgess: Surprised by timing of this ‘mutual consent’ decision. Planning and playing budget for next season would’ve already been in place. First big call under Huw Jenkins era.

@AaronNCAFC__: wtf man.

@DOsull27: No players. No manager. Up the county

@JNPhillips4: This is really disappointing. Yes the season ended on a sour note with those 8 straight defeats but he did his job of keeping County in the football league on a meagre budget when many pundits tipped us for the drop. Wishing Coughlan well wherever he ends up next. #UTC

@Northall_: Huw Jenkins must have nuts the size of grapefruits, this is wild

@iammfj: Did a great job in unbelievably tough circumstances. I expect the replacement is lined up, but not happy about this at all.

@AndrewPenman1: Doesn’t sound all that ‘mutual’ from the statement!

@Ewanjack_: no players, no manager. roll on the season 🤩

@NCAFCThoughts: Massive shock this. But, key points to take away – we’ve lost a manager and we’re gaining a head coach.

@sixpointertom: Strange this – both decision and timing. To me this indicates either an internal dispute or somebody has become available more “attractive” to the board. No incomings yet for Newport, but I expect a new man to be in place within a few days.

@Richard84185456: Shocking call he was doing well until end of season dip

@_ApolloF1: I get the last 8 or so remaining matches were fucking awful but this man single handedly kept us up for both seasons he was in charge. How did it go from Huw wanting to keep Graham to him wanting to leave. Something doesn’t add up.

@NEWA69: If you go by the 8 consecutive defeats then I understand why but still shocked as he seemed to get what County are. UTC! 🖤💛

@gingelawrence: WTF 🤬

@LB_WFC: They’re in trouble…. Can’t keep hold of players & managers gone. @izzyperry2001 · 1h What the fuck

@DanielCaddy3: Very Harsh I think Coughlan definitely deserved more time. I’m assuming Huw has someone lined up to replace him, at least whoever comes in will have a whole window to get deals done. #NCAFC

@Joshknapman: This seems to have come from nowhere. Thought he did a great job with limited resources and would’ve liked to have seen what he could do with a bit more cash behind him. Massive shame.

@William_Downs_: Fucking hell absolute carnage 🤣🤣🤣🤣 clearly a clash over recruitment etc very much doubt the 3 players offered deals will bother staying now, curious who we get in, slightly concerned ngl

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