BRISTOL Rovers have parted company with manager Darrell Clarke after a disappointing start to the 2018-19 season.
Rovers are currently in the League One relegation zone after winning just four of their 21 league games so far this term.
In a statement, Bristol Rovers said: “Darrell Clarke has been a loyal servant of Bristol Rovers Football Club for nearly six years, initially as John Ward’s assistant, then progressing to first team manager.
“A role in which he has enjoyed considerable success with promotions from the Conference and from League Two before consolidating the club’s position in League One over the last two years.
“This season commenced with optimism and high expectations of a challenge for the play-off places but results and performances have been disappointing.
“After much soul searching and lengthy deliberations it has been mutually agreed that it is probably in the best interests of the club and of Darrell Clarke to seek a fresh way forward. Darrell leaves the club with immediate effect and on amicable terms.
“The Board would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Darrell for the hard work and dedication he has shown to the club and the positive effect he’s had on players, staff and supporters during his tenure.
“Darrell will remain a friend of the club and will no doubt achieve further success in his career after a deserved break.
“Everyone at Bristol Rovers wishes him well for the future.”
Former Plymouth Argyle captain Graham Couglan has been put in temporary charge of the team commencing with the game at Sunderland on Saturday.
Coaches Chris Hargreaves and Brian Dutton will also provide their support to the first team.
Assistant manager Marcus Stewart asked to be released from his contract and the club say they have reluctantly agreed.
FULL REACTION IN SUNDAY’S PAPER