Former Bristol Rovers manager breaks silence as claim made after Charlton sacking

Former Bristol Rovers manager breaks silence as claim made after Charlton sacking

Ben Garner was sacked by Charlton Athletic last week – now he speaks for the first time since being sacked.

Ben Garner admits he’s disappointed he wasn’t given the ‘necessary’ time at Charlton Athletic. The former Bristol Rovers manager was denied a reunion with his old club following his sacking last week.

Garner was fired after just six months at The Valley, and owner Thomas Sandgaard said the Addicks “needed to act” as they discussed the decision to split. Charlton won just five of 20 games in League One and was 16th overall at the time of his sacking. They fell to 18th after their game against Morecambe was postponed.

The 42-year-old had made the decision to leave League Two play-off semi-finalists Swindon Town to take up the south London post. The Robins are the only club he has played a full season at, having been sacked after 33 games at Rovers and only 29 games at Charlton.

“It has been a privilege to be manager of Charlton Athletic and I am disappointed to be starting my tenure so early,” he said in a statement to the League Managers Association.

“My coaching team deserves a special mention for their dedication and diligence throughout this season – hard work, dedication and passion for the job have been a constant throughout our time together.

He added: “It was a difficult decision to leave Swindon Town at the end of last season but I could not turn down the opportunity to manage Charlton Athletic. I was thrilled by the challenge and confident that I could help a great football club whose fans deserve nothing less to thrive again.

“I’m disappointed I didn’t have the time to take the team forward as I know we would have built a squad we could all be proud of.

“I wish the club, the players, the staff and the fans every success for the future.”

Garner’s sacking deprived him of an opportunity to face the club which gave him his first chance at senior football. He was named to succeed Graham Coughlan in December 2019 and stayed until November 2020. Last season he recorded a 3-1 win over Joey Barton at Memorial Stadium before going on to draw 1-1 at the County Ground.

Anthony Hayes sits in the caretaker’s seat ahead of Rovers’ visit to The Valley on Saturday, with former Bristol City head coach Dean Holden the favorite for the post. The Rovers are six places ahead of Charlton, with the two sides four points separating them despite playing a game more.

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