Former Bristol Rovers and Charlton boss back in management with League Two club

The former Gas manager is in League Two - and is tasked with keeping his new club in the Football League

Former Bristol Rovers manager Ben Garner has returned to football management - taking up the role at League Two outfit Colchester United.

The managerial merry-go-round which saw Gareth Ainsworth move to QPR and Matt Bloomfield return to Wycombe Wanderers, has opened up an opportunity at the JobServe Community Stadium and it is Garner who will now lead the club forward.

Garner was sacked by Rovers' League One rivals Charlton Athletic before Christmas, after a bad run of form which denied him a chance of a reunion with his old club. He had only been appointed in the summer by the Addicks, leaving his job at Swindon Town, who he led to the League Two play-offs.

After he was sacked by Charlton, Garner admitted he did hot have the 'necessary time' to take Charlton forward and build a side that the team could be proud of.

The 42-year-old will not take charge immediately, and will only watch the game against Mark Hughes' Bradford City in an observatory role, before getting down to business next week. At the time of his appointment, Colchester are currently 19th in the league, with nine points separating them and the relegation zone, though Crawley Town do have three games in hand.

During his 11-months at the Memorial Stadium, he oversaw 36 games with nine wins, ten draws and 17 defeats, and he was later succeeded by Paul Tisdale who only lasted a few months before Joey Barton replaced him in February 2021. He made 21 signings during his tenure with most now not at the club. Zain Westbrooke is a free agent after his contract was terminated in January, which could open the door for a reunion.

At Swindon, he doubled his win percentage of 25% to 50%, winning 28 of the 56 matches he oversaw with 12 defeats and 16 losses, with one of those victories coming against Rovers in the early part of the 2021/22 campaign. Garner's record at Charlton was nine wins, 12 draws and eight defeats, which was better than what he had at Rovers.