Bristol Rovers ‘in talks’ with Bradford City and Gillingham managerial target

The latest on Bristol Rovers’ search for a new first-team manager has taken them down the route of a former Bristol City boss.
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Bristol Rovers are said to have held talks with Dean Holden about their managerial vacancy, according to reports.

As per the Bristol Post, the Gas are said to have spoken to Holden, as well as several candidates. It is said that Holden held ‘initial talks’ and that he is ‘among a number of candidates being considered’.

Holden was sacked by Charlton Athletic in August on the back of a bad run of form. He was in charge of the Addicks from December 2022 to the end of August, and was in the dugout when Rovers beat them at The Valley courtesy of a Luke McCormick stoppage time winner.

News of Holden’s talks with Bristol Rovers does bring into question the reports about him being appointed as the next Bradford City boss. EFL journalist Alan Nixon said that the Bantams ‘may offer’ him the job this week however Gillingham are also said to be keen, after permission to speak to Kevin Maher was turned down.

The 44-year-old has managed three clubs in his career but has overseen less than 100 games in mangement. He was in charge at Oldham Athletic for a brief spell and only got a 20% win percentage from 15 games. Holden is most known for holding the head coach role at Rovers' inter-city rivals Bristol City after succeeding Lee Johnson. He was manager from July 2020 to February 2021 and oversaw 43 games with 19 wins, five draws and 19 defeats giving him a 44.2% win perentage.

His departure from Ashton Gate saw him work as an assistant manager to Michael O'Neil and he won his one and only game in caretaker charger when the Northern Ireland manager was dismissed. Holden returned to management with Charlton at the end of last year and won 12 of the 32 games he took charge of with the Addicks, but at the time of his departure they were 19th, and had not won since the opening day.

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