New managers have been appointed at Bradford, Bristol City and Bournemouth within 24 hours, with some deals until the end of the season.
The Cherries were the first to cause a surprise in naming Jonathan Woodgate at the helm for the rest of the campaign after interest in Thierry Henry.
They currently sit 6th in the Championship table, taking a total of 49 points from 31 games played so far, seeing an upturn in form since Jason Tindall’s exit.
BOURNEMOUTH CLUB STATEMENT:
AFC Bournemouth can confirm that Jonathan Woodgate has agreed a short team deal to be the club’s head coach until the end of the season.
The 41-year-old has been caretaker manager for the Cherries’ last five fixtures, following the departure of Jason Tindall.
In that time, Woodgate has recorded three wins, a draw and a defeat, keeping three successive clean sheets and progressing to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup for only the second time in the club’s history.
AFC Bournemouth chief executive, Neill Blake, said: “Jonathan’s professionalism and leadership has impressed the board of directors since taking on the role of caretaker manager in difficult circumstances.
“The team’s performances and results have improved under his stewardship, and even our defeat at Queens Park Rangers on Saturday was a display which deserved a better result.
“As we head into a crucial part of the season, stability and clarity is of paramount importance for everyone at the club.
“With that in mind, and having concluded an extensive search for a new manager, we believe Jonathan is the best candidate to lead the team for the final 15 games of the season.”
– STATEMENT ENDS –
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The next to officially reveal their new managers are Bradford City, with Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars being appointed joint managers of the Bantams having impressed in temporary charge since mid-December.
The pair have been handed a contract until the end of next season having won seven of 11 games since stepping up from the club’s academy, losing only once.
Bradford City is delighted to announce that Mark Trueman and Conor Sellars have been appointed joint managers of the club – on a permanent basis.
Trueman and Sellars have agreed deals which will initially keep them at the Utilita Energy Stadium until at least the end of the 2021/22 campaign, having first taken temporary charge in December.
The duo, who began coaching City’s under-18s side at the beginning of the 2018/19 campaign, were made joint-interim managers on December 28, having initially taken the reins as caretaker manager and assistant on December 13.
Under their stewardship, the Bantams have picked up 24 points from 11 matches – winning seven, drawing three and losing only once.
Bradford-born Trueman, 33, said: “Myself and Conor are obviously delighted, first and foremost, to have been given this opportunity.
“The players have taken to us really well. We have been pleased by how everyone is gelling and are looking forward to keeping that going.
“We are desperate to be successful and, now we have been given the chance to manage this club on a permanent basis, will do everything in our power to ensure that is the case.
“This is something we have both been working very hard towards, and now we can hopefully keep pushing and building on what we have already done, since taking charge initially.”
“We are extremely pleased,” Sellars, 29, added.
“Me and Mark have worked incredibly hard so far and have been given a brilliant opportunity by the club, which we are very excited about.
“When we first came in, we were confident in our ability to express our coaching methods. Thankfully, the job we have done so far has been deemed good enough to warrant the permanent appointment.
“Every day, we just want to improve. It has been a brilliant couple of months so far and we are looking forward to taking this club in the right direction as much as we can. We are trying to put a blueprint in place which everyone can be proud of.”
City’s chief executive officer, Ryan Sparks, said: “I am absolutely delighted for Mark and Conor. Their promotion is thoroughly deserved and I am sure they will pick up from where they left off on Saturday, tomorrow evening.
“Life is about opportunities, and I think it goes without saying that Mark and Conor have taken theirs with both hands. They have worked extremely hard over the past couple of months and placed themselves in pole position for the job.
“I am sure our supporters will join me in congratulating them on their terrific work so far, but they know more than anyone that the real challenges come now, as the next chapter begins.
“We are fully confident they can continue to take us forward on the field, and they are living and breathing the culture we are working to create. They understand that mediocrity is something we will never again accept, and that every day we simply strive to move forward and achieve our goals.
“When placing them in interim charge, I challenged Mark and Conor to keep our football club in the EFL. They are closing in on achieving that target, which certainly presented a substantial task.
“Our aim is to get safe and then finish this season with as much momentum as possible, heading into the 2021/22 campaign. We already have in place the basis of an exciting squad, ahead of next season, and I am sure both Mark and Conor are looking forward to building on it during the months ahead.
“They are ‘two of our own’ and, along with everyone else, have the club’s best interests at heart. I speak on behalf of thousands of people in wishing them the very best – at what is hopefully the start of a long reign in permanent charge of Bradford City. They have made some history in recent weeks, and now is the time for us to start making more.”
In addition to Trueman and Sellars, Scott Dyer has also been promoted from the club’s academy ranks on a permanent basis. He will link up with Robbie Bloodworth in the first team’s performance analysis department.
– STATEMENT ENDS –
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And lastly, Bristol City are set to appoint Nigel Pearson as their next manager.
They have been in advanced talks and it is thought the experienced manager is likely to sign a contract on Monday, putting him initially in charge of first-team affairs for the remainder of the season.
Nigel Pearson was sacked back in July 2020 after a defeat away at West Ham United, yet looked to be guiding them to safety towards the end of the season.
Instead, he was axed with the club in 17th, assistants Hayden Mullins and Graham Stack took over on a caretaker basis for the final two games of the season, which then saw them drop into the relegation zone, then finish in 19th position on the final day.
Pearson has previous experience of helping a side escape deep trouble, having led Leicester to safety in 2015 when they were to the foot of the table at Christmas.
Pearson won the Championship and League One during his time with the Foxes between 2011 and 2015.
His most recent job was with Belgian First Division B side Oud-Heverlee Leuven but lasted 17 months, left them bottom of the table with just 22 points from 24 games and there were many fan protests to get him out of the club.
A few years back, he was linked to become the new manager of QPR, Bolton and Sunderland, but he didn’t get the job.
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Fans reacted to the new managers appointed at Bradford, Bristol City and Bournemouth, see what they had to say below…
@tomscrawford: TRUEMAN SELLARS BRADFORD ARMY
@jpieslak: Congratulations to the both of them. Totally deserved. Be great when we can get back in and sing their name!
@LDHartley13: To say it’s deserved would be an understatement. Now let’s get out of this league!!!
@nottmbantam: Tremendous news, congratulations to them both, well deserved. Let’s hope the success continues. #bcafc
@jonathanandgill: The right call for two guys who’ve achieved more than what any fan could have imagined.
@Ste_Tasker: Best bit of positive news for at least a year! What a difference from only a couple months ago like we are a totally different club! Trueman and sellars are two of our own and they deserve this opportunity 100% now lets get behind them and take this club back where we belong!CTID
@bcafcwin: I know who I’d rather have! Congratulations T and S! Long overdue keep doing what you are doing!
@JBrannan11: Making them interim seemed a good move at the time, and I’d say the timing here also feels good. To come back from their first loss and win two on the run was very good. Good luck both, you’ve definitely brought the love back.
@itsjoelstweets: His sterling job at Middlesbrough must have convinced you.
@talipozdemiir: We sold many player. We made a lot of money. We didnt bring an expensive coach. We terminated the contract without compensation. And yet you didnt transfer. Now we continue with an unsuccessful trainer.
@SamForrester4: Woodgate is a good man but let’s be real the club have let the fans down yet again “external appointment” and “due diligence” yet another lie and lack of ambition #afcb
@northoftheriver: He gets my support. But this whole protracted “recruitment process” has been a farce.
@Kevscott1982: Exactly what happened in the summer prior to his appointment at Boro. Clubs treating their supporters as thick to claim they’ve looked far and wide and he is the ‘outstanding candidate’.
@ClarkRDanny: From all at Middlesbrough FC, we feel your pain.
@ILSON1977: Bye bye play offs
@JordanDaniels_1: Very kind of Bournemouth giving the Boro, Stoke, Cardiff and Barnsley an chance of the play offs. What a nice club.
@Rossss77: Agent woodgate in till end of the season to get the boro in the playoffs after all
@loulour1982: What a waste of 3 weeks. Told weren’t interested in internal appointment. Some of the best CV’s in shortlist. End up appointing the caretaker after we lose a match. Not saying it’s wrong decision, just feel it’s been done in a poor way
Fans continued to have their say on the new managers appointed at Bradford, Bristol City and Bournemouth…
ON BRISTOL CITY:
Nigel Pearson is reportedly set to be named as Bristol City’s new manager…
Hopefully more press conferences like this please…
“If you don’t know the answer to that question then I think you are an ostrich. ” 😂😂😂
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) February 21, 2021
@BristolOli: Got to happen we are in a mess
@andymozz8: If this happens I will dress as an ostrich and run round Ashton Gate! Up the fucking City
@LiamJConnolly: Speaking as a Leicester fan… that is a brilliant appointment.
@JAMES96453204: Jesus This is what we need !! A manager that can grab the club by the scruff of the neck and hump it into submission!!
@ChrisBessex: Every thing about Nigel Pearson suggests success, organisation, we are doing it this way. If they were to appoint him then nobody could possibly say “well that was obviously going to fail”. Even if it doesn’t work out you’d have to admit on paper he has everything.
@Drawski5: Nigel Pearson is such an underrated manager. An eloquent speaker, always searching for the right words. Also looks a hard bast*rd who takes no prisoners. Well done Bristol City.
@eadebcfc1: As a fan base we were on our knees & the appointment of Nigel Pearson would give us hope for rest of season as you know he’s going to shake the whole club up.Finally, we get the appointment we should of had years ago. Been critical of regime but thanks @stephenlansdow1
@petehinton8: Nigel Pearson is taking us to Europe on the back of an ostrich. What a club
@tommydla: Unreal appointment
@YTJourno: I’m OK with Nigel Pearson. A short, sharp, shock is probably best chance of @BristolCity getting the bounce they desperately need. Long term, who knows….
@thetalkofsport: See, now we’re talking. I have Nigel Pearson down as a Premier League/Championship version of Steve Cotterill – unpredictable and generally pretty bloody scary but gets the job done. Fingers crossed on this one. #BristolCity
With new managers appointed at Bradford, Bristol City and Bournemouth, what are your thoughts on each of them? Let us know via our socials!