Former Preston North End, Leicester City, Stoke City and Blackburn Rovers figure holds talks with Bristol Rovers

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Bristol Rovers’ manager search could take them north of the border with a 19-time Scotland international said to have held talks.

A former Premier League and Championship defender has been linked with a return to football management.

Bristol Rovers are on the search for a new manager after parting company with Joey Barton early a fortnight ago. The Gas are on the lookout for someone who has had the experience of managing in the Championship or League One according to owner Hussain AlSaeed.

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A left-field candidate has emerged however. The Bristol Post report that Callum Davidson is said to have held talks with the third tier club over their vacancy.

Dan Hargraves, reporter for the Bristol Post said in a tweet last week: “A brand new name to add to the managerial candidates list...

“I understand that Bristol Rovers have held initial talks with former St. Johnstone manager Callum Davidson.”

Davidson has only managed in Scotland, however he has played in England. He was St Johnstone manager from 2020 to 2023 after a caretaker spell with the Saints in 2014.

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He led St Johnstone to a Scottish League Cup and a Scottish Cup double in 2021 and led them to fifth and 11th placed finishes in the Scottish Premiership. His record in management is 136 games with 42 wins, 37 draws and 57 defeats giving him a 30.88% win percentage.

Before taking to management, he was a coach to Gary Rowett at both Stoke City and at Millwall. He was also at Dunfermline Athletic for a few months but reunited with former Leicester City teammate Rowett when was appointed manager of Millwall.

Davidson meanwhile played 181 games for Preston North End. He scored 22 goals and got six assists across a seven-year spell at Deepdale. His other clubs include Lancashire rivals Blackburn Rovers, as well as Leicester City.

In a separate report, the Bristol Post report that Bristol Rovers are interested in Southend boss Kevin Maher. Maher was first-team coach at the Memorial Stadium under Graham Coughlan, Ben Garner, Paul Tisdale and Joey Barton. He has been in charge of the Shrimpers since 2021, and has managed them during a turbulent period which has been blighted by off-the-field issues.

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Gas favourite Ian Holloway was ruled out of the running last week, as was former Bristol City and Portsmouth boss Steve Cotterill. Ex-Oxford United and MK Dons boss Karl Robinson is said to be 'very keen' on the role. Interim boss Andy Mangan got the backing of club Sam Finley on Thursday, and Mangs will take charge of their match against Reading on Tuesday (November 7).

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