League One club sack manager days before clash with Bristol Rovers

Bristol Rovers will not come up against former boss Darrell Clarke when they face Port Vale on the weekend.
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Darrell Clarke and Port Vale have decided to part ways which means that he will not get to face his former club Bristol Rovers this weekend.

The Gas play the Valiants at Vale Park on Saturday, April 22 but Clarke will not be in the home dugout for the fixture. Clarke’s assistant manager Andy Crosby has been placed in caretaker charge and will manage the club for the rest of the season.

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Clarke led Port Vale to promotion through the League Two play-offs after defeating Mansfield Town at Wembley Stadium last May. Vale are eight points above the relegation zone and are currently 18th but Cambridge United hold a game in hand over them.

Vale suffered a 3-2 defeat to Lincoln City on the weekend in what has been a poor run of form. Port Vale have won just twice in 18 matches since the turn of the New Year and the club has decided to make a change.

Port Vale’s director of football David Flitcroft said in a club statement: “Firstly, it is important that we place on record our appreciation to Darrell for the role he has played in a successful chapter in the club’s history, culminating in last season’s promotion to League One via the Play-Offs.

“We have been on an emotional journey together, during which time Carol, her family and all associated with Port Vale have provided unwavering support to Darrell throughout an unimaginably difficult period in his life.

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“We have immense gratitude to him for his role in driving the club away from potential relegation from League Two to winning promotion to League One.

“However, following discussions in recent weeks with Darrell, the backroom staff and senior players, we have decided now is the best time to make a change and give ourselves the best chance of retaining the League One status we have all worked so tirelessly to achieve since the Shanahan family purchased the club in 2019.”

Rovers face Sheffield Wednesday at the Memorial Stadium tomorrow (April 18), before facing Vale this weekend. Port Vale have former Rovers strikers Ellis Harrison and Matt Taylor in their ranks. Harrison joined in the summer whilst Taylor left Oxford United to join Vale on loan.

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