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

The 42-year-old will not come up against his former club this Saturday

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Ben Garner admits he is disappointed that he wasn't afforded the 'necessary' time at Charlton Athletic. The former Bristol Rovers manager was denied a reunion with his old club after his sacking last week.

Garner was sacked after just six months in charge at The Valley, with owner Thomas Sandgaard, saying that the Addicks 'needed to act' when speaking about the decision to part ways. Charlton won just five in 20 matches in League One, and at the time of his sacking, were placed 16th in the standings. They dropped down to 18th after their match with 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 post in South London. The Robins is the only club were he has completed an entire season, having been sacked at Rovers after 33 games, and at Charlton he was only afforded 29 matches.

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

“My coaching staff deserve particular mention for their commitment and diligence over the course of this season – hard work, dedication and passion for the job were a constant throughout our time together.

He added: “It was a difficult decision to leave Swindon Town at the end of last season but the opportunity to manage Charlton Athletic was one I could not refuse. The challenge excited me and I was confident of being able to bring success back to a great football club whose supporters deserve nothing less.

“I am disappointed not to have had the necessary time to take the team forward as I know that we would have built a side that we all could 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 the opportunity of facing the club that gave him his first opportunity in senior football. He was appointed as the successor to Graham Coughlan in December 2019, lasting until November 2020. He oversaw a 3-1 win at the Memorial Stadium last season over Joey Barton, before a 1-1 draw at the County Ground.

Anthony Hayes is in the caretaker seat ahead of Rovers' visit to The Valley on Saturday, with former Bristol City head coach Dean Holden the favourite for the post. Rovers are six places higher than Charlton with four points separating the two sides, though they have played a game more.