Joey Barton’s response to Bristol Rovers sacking as Andy Mangan delivers key message
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Barton’s near three-year tenure came to an abrupt end on Thursday, forcing his now former assistant manager to step up to the plate as caretaker boss.
The 37-year-old will oversee first-team affairs until a permanent successor is found, and will be assisted by the core of Barton’s backroom staff. Glenn Whelan and Danny Ventre remain first-team coaches, while Anssi Jaakkola will also be on hand to assist.
Mangan has already managed the team on several occasions this term as a result of Barton’s stadium ban. He was brought to the Memorial Stadium by the former Newcastle and Manchester City midfielder, having worked together at Fleetwood Town.
The duo spoke after the Gas’ decision to end Barton’s time at the club was made. And Mangan revealed his former boss was far from happy.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s home game against Northampton, he said: “Listen, obviously he’s not happy.
“I didn’t spend long with him on the phone. It was sort of he got the news and I found it.
“It’s something I’m gonna have to speak to him about a little bit more. It’s going to be a private matter with Joe. I don’t think he’ll be over the moon.
“He had real big dreams for Bristol Rovers, we got promoted which was a wonderful part and then we stabilised the team in League One. Obviously he’s lost his job, and this is something he’ll be processing and it’ll take a period of time.”
Mangan must now prepare the side for the challenge the Cobblers will post at the weekend. He has the unenviable task of changing the players’ focus back to the match in hand after the shock news of Barton’s sacking.
Northampton are below Rovers in the current league standings but only two points separate the two sides. It is the first meeting between the two since the Gas got promoted from League Two on the final day of the 2021/22 campaign at their expense.
“We can’t really dwell on the past if I am being totally honest,” added Mangan.
“We have to move forward now and the group will move pretty quick. It’s about Saturday, it’s about Northampton and how we prepare. We have to give the lads a clear plan and clear instructions so they understand how we’re gonna break Northampton down. We just need to move forward.”