Interim boss Gary Seward leaves Forest Green Rovers after one game in charge
THE SNJ understands that interim boss Gary Seward has left the New Lawn after disappointment of Saturday’s 1-0 shock FA Cup final qualifying round defeat against Skrill Conference South side Bishop’s Stortford.
The 52-year-old has spent the last three years as assistant to former boss David Hockaday, who left by mutual consent a fortnight ago after a run of seven defeats from eight games.
Seward was keen to replace Hockaday, but is believed to have left his post on Monday.
Academy boss and former Forest Green and Salisbury City defender Scott Bartlett is expected to guide the side against Dartford at the New Lawn on Saturday.
A bullish Seward told the SNJ on Friday: “I’ve got no idea how long I’ll be in charge for but Dale Vince needs to make sure he gets the right man and I expect it to be a slow process, but I want the job.
“We must have had more than 100 applications already, which is not surprising, so it could be a few weeks before anything happens.
“When the chairman asked me to take over I needed to know the players were 100 percent behind me, so I got them together.
“To a man they all stood up and said they were, and the message I got from them was that they feel they let David down and ultimately cost him his job.
“When you’ve got a squad of highly talented young players there are always going to be grievances about not being in the team or silly things like being substituted, but I see that as competitiveness rather than being in dispute with the manager.”
Reece Prestedge’s 52nd-minute goal from a corner was enough to produce an FA Cup upset at the New Lawn – the home side's fifth straight defeat in all competitions.
Seward said: “The result is disappointing, but there was a togetherness and a united front and there was an enormous work ethic from the players.
“It’s not my decision at the end of the day but I’m loving the job. I’m a positive person and I love football.
Reece Styche returned as s a substitute in the 78th minute, the striker’s first appearance for eight months following knee surgery.
Paul Green caught the eye on his return and Stephen Brogan also made his mark from the bench.
Meanwhile, Forest Green chairman Dale Vince has confirmed to the SNJ that a formal approach was made to Gateshead for the managerial services of former Nottingham Forest European Cup winner Gary Mills.
However, Mills has said he will continue the work he has started at Gateshead.
Vince refuted Gateshead claims that he had approached the north east outfit on two separate occasions to talk to the 51-year-old, who earned York City an FA Trophy and Conference play-off double just 17 months ago.
Vince said: “We only asked them once, for permission to talk to Gary Mills, so that’s actually untrue.”
Mills joined the Heed on a 12-month rolling contract in September and has lifted them to the verge of the of the play-off places with seven wins from 10 matches, Despite consulting Manchester United legend and England coach Gary Neville on a potential high profile appointment, Vince is now believed to prefer a manager with seasoned Conference experience.
Contenders touted include former Gillingham boss Martin Allen, ex-Nottingham Forest and Cheltenham manager Steve Cotterill, current Kidderminster boss Steve Burr and former England stars Robbie Fowler and Tony Adams, who lives in Coates, near Cirencester.
The 47-year-old has previously managed Portsmouth, Wycombe and has connections with the Nailsworth club with the former Arsenal captain managing ex-Gabla and current Forest Green midfielder Al Bangura. Adams’ son Olly also played for the Rovers’ youth team under Darren Perrin.
Vince is expected to start the selection process this week with a hit-list of four in the running for the most sought-after post outside the Football League.
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