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Stephen Robinson emerges as candidate to take over at League One club but Joey Barton the favourite



Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson

Getty Images

Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is in the running, along with former Manchester City midfielder Joey Barton, to take charge of a League One club.

Bristol Rovers are on the look-out for a new boss after Paul Tisdale was sacked last week having spent less than three months in the job.

Robinson is second favourite to take over the role and is understood to have impressed the club's hierarchy with his credentials.

However, he will have to upset the odds to beat Barton and land the job, with the 38-year-old understood to be viewed by the club as one of the top young managers in England.

Discussions between Rovers and the former Fleetwood boss are said to have been positive but while no agreement is in place, Robinson remains in with a chance.

The Northern Irishman ended a successful stint as Motherwell manager when he stood down in December, going on to explain that he felt it would be 'hard to top' last season's achievement of finishing third, behind Celtic and Rangers, and qualifying for the Europa League for the first time since 2014.

He previously managed Oldham Athletic in League One although was sacked after just six months with the club bottom of the table. He has since progressed as a manager north of the border and, since leaving Motherwell, has been linked with the job at Kilmarnock, which went to compatriot Tommy Wright, and now with Rovers.

The south west club enjoyed back-to-back promotions from the Conference to League One under Matty Taylor in 2015 and 2016 and since then have finished in mid-table four seasons in a row.

However, a run of just five wins in 19 games under Tisdale left Rovers outside the relegation places only on goal difference, until a much-needed 3-1 win over Portsmouth on Tuesday evening with director of football Tommy Widdrington in temporary charge.

Barton was sacked by Fleetwood Town at the start of January in the wake of an altercation with striker Ched Evans but, on the pitch, he had been getting results. Having begun what was his first managerial job in 2018, he guided the club to the League One play-offs last season and 10th in the table on his departure. Fleetwood have since slipped to 16th, just two places above Rovers.

Belfast Telegraph