It was hard and emotional to sack John Dempster – CEO Carolyn Radford on change of manager at Mansfield Town

Mansfield Town CEO Carolyn Radford admitted it had been hard and emotional to sack manager John Dempster.

Thursday, 19th December 2019, 10:30 am
Updated Thursday, 19th December 2019, 10:30 am
Carolyn Radford with Graham Coughlan - picture by Chris Holloway.

Club stalwart Dempster was dismissed with the side 18th in the league last weekend and quickly replaced by Bristol Rovers boss Graham Coughlan.

“It was incredibly hard,” she said. “We'd built up such a relationship over seven and a half years through promotion with him as a player and then he did such a great job with the youth system.

“There were so many things he'd contributed to the football club and he deserved to have a chance.

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“It was just one of those things where you wonder how long do you give?

“But we owed it to the supporters and to the football club. It's never an easy decision, but we just had to say goodbye.”

She added: “I get very emotional. It's not an easy job to do to say goodbye to someone.

“We were taking it game by game but he had a certain amount of points he should get, but it just wasn't getting there at all.

“We were thinking about it for quite a number of weeks.

“Succession planning is what you do in any business. Football is results-based and our results were just not there.

“So we have been looking around and spoke to quite a few managers.

“We had an amazing number of talented managers approach us so it just shows how far this club has come and people see us as ambitious and going places.”

Mrs Radford said the play-offs remained a hugely ambitious target, despite how much ground needed to be made up, but admitted: “We have to be careful of expectation levels and maybe a more measured approach game by game is probably going to be the way we close the season and just keep building up those points.

“We just need to be authentic, keep working hard and turn round the mindset of the players. They are amazing people and so talented. They don't want to be where they are currently.”

Coughlan has been given a two and a half year contract with Mrs Radford saying: “We want stability too. The previous regime before John Dempster I didn't want that to move. It was a board decision.

“I think it's always good to maintain longevity with managers.”

The move from Bristol Rovers to Mansfield brings Coughlan closer to his Sheffield home and he smiled: “It's a great Christmas present for my wife and my kids after 11 years on the road. I have missed my kids and I've missed my wife.

“At the end of the day it was a double whammy for me to manage a club like this and be associated with ambitious people, and, call it being selfish, being with my family.”