Bristol Rovers hero Ian Holloway has revealed he made an ambitious attempt to return to football management earlier this month but was unsuccessful.
Holloway’s management career began with the Gas in 1996, first as a player-manager before retiring in 1999. Twenty years of coaching and managing would follow, but for the last two years he has been out of work.
The 59-year-old’s last job was at Grimsby Town, which came to an end in December 2020 when he resigned, with the Mariners later getting relegated. Holloway had considered managerial retirement in March 2021, but has not formally announced his decision to retire from the management game.
With just over 11 games short of 1,000 matches in management, Holloway offered his services to Championship club Cardiff City. The Bluebirds had been on the search for their third manager of the season after sacking both Steve Morison and Mark Hudson.
“As for now, they just told me politely that they’re not interested in me,” said Holloway to Cardiff City columnist Scott Johnson’s website Roathboy.
“I got someone to ring them at the weekend and Mehmet politely declined me an interview, so unfortunately, that will never happen.
“I’m bitterly disappointed because I would have loved to have been in charge of you lot at least once in my life.
“I thought I might have had a chance, someone with my Championship experience, to keep you up. Even if it was now until the end of the season, like Mick McCarthy at Blackpool.”
The Welsh club opted to go with former Nottingham Forest manager Sabri Lamouchi, and will be assisted by former Bristol City trialist Sol Bamba. At the time of his appointment, Cardiff are just outside the relegation zone, though they have played more games then their rivals.
Holloway is based in Bristol these days and surprised young supporters of the Gas most recently by attending a training session. He helped coach the youngsters putting them through drills, as well as showing off some skills that fans of an older generation will have watched at Eastville.