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Last Updated: Friday, 2 November 2007, 12:48 GMT
Cheltenham name Downing as boss
Keith Downing
The board were unanimous in their decision to appoint Keith

Cheltenham chairman Paul Baker
Cheltenham Town have named caretaker boss Keith Downing as their new manager, in succession to John Ward who joined Carlisle as boss a month ago.

Downing, 42, who had been Ward's assistant at Whaddon Road since 2004, has agreed an 18-month contract.

"The board were unanimous in their decision to appoint Keith," Robins chairman Paul Baker explained.

"He has a highly impressive pedigree, and has the respect and confidence of the players and the backroom staff."

Cheltenham have collected just one win - over Swindon in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy - as well as two draws and three defeats under Downing.

But Baker insisted that this was not "an 'easy option' appointment.

He said: "The fact that we have given Keith a contract until the end of the 2008/09 season shows how much confidence we have in him.

"It will enable the club to return to a period of stability and give Keith the opportunity to bring players in and mould the squad to one of his own."

Downing's playing career began as an apprentice at Chelsea, subsequently playing for Mile Oak Rovers, Notts County, Wolves, Birmingham, Stoke, Cardiff and Hereford.

He had spells on the coaching staff at Hereford and Wolves before following Ward to Cheltenham three years ago.

Youth team manager Bob Bloomer will continue on the coaching staff as assistant manager.

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