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New Bristol Rovers boss Stuart Campbell sure of success


Campbell surprised but happy to step up

Rookie Bristol Rovers boss Stuart Campbell believes his squad has what it takes to stay in League One.

The club's recent slump in form, with one win in nine games, resulted in the sacking of Dave Penney with midfielder Campbell stepping up to take charge.

Rovers are five points adrift of safety with just 12 games remaining.

"I'm under no illusions about the task that I've got in hand and I firmly believe that we can do it as a team," Campbell told BBC Points West.

"The fans are going to have a huge, huge part to play in it because they've become a bit disillusioned and are quite entitled to feel that way given the amount of money that they put into the club.

"All we want now is to give them something back, get them right behind us and I know that when they get behind us it makes one hell of a difference.

"I want players to go out, enjoy it and be committed to the club. That's crucial. If we show the fans we're 100% committed I firmly believe results will follow and it will help us get out of the mess we're in."

Former Wales boss Bobby Gould, who had two spells at the Bristol Rovers helm and also played for the club, was pessimistic about their survival chances but described the decision to promote Campbell as "enterprising".

The club's part of me and my family's blood... when the job came up it took me a millisecond to give them an answer

Stuart Campbell

"He knows the dressing room and will know what's been going wrong," Gould told BBC Radio Bristol. "It's a question of coming together and believing in one."

The 33-year-old Campbell is the longest-serving player in the Rovers squad, having joined the club from Grimsby in June 2004. He has been given the job until the end of the season.

He only returned to action in the 2-0 home loss to Dagenham and Redbridge after a month on the sidelines with a hamstring injury, a defeat which spelt the end of Penney's tenure at the helm.

Campbell reflected: "It's sad to see Dave lose his job and he was the first person to ring me to wish me good luck, so I think that tells you what type of man he is."

While it took the club hierarchy 26 days to decide to replace Paul Trollope with Penney, they moved quickly to bring in Campbell, who has been taking his UEFA coaching badges with an eye on stepping into management at the end of his playing days.

The Scot admitted he was surprised the opportunity came as soon as it did, but had no doubt about accepting the position.

"The club's part of me and my family's blood," he added. "We absolutely love it here and when the job came up it took me a millisecond to give them an answer."

Campbell is set to start in midfield in the match at Tranmere, with injured senior players Danny Coles and Byron Anthony assisting from the touchline.

He is keen to keep playing, and said he will discuss with the club how to juggle the demands of playing and managing, and what shape his backroom team will take, once his managerial debut is out of the way.

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see also
Tranmere 0-1 Bristol Rovers
08 Mar 11 |  League One
Bristol Rovers sack boss Penney
07 Mar 11 |  Bristol Rovers
Bristol Rovers 0-2 Dag & Red
05 Mar 11 |  League One
Penney lands Bristol Rovers role
10 Jan 11 |  Bristol Rovers
Trollope sacked by Bristol Rovers
15 Dec 10 |  Bristol Rovers

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