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League Two: John Ward changes roles at Bristol Rovers from manager to director of football

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Bristol Rovers boss John Ward has been replaced by assistant manager Darrell Clarke and moved to the position of director of football.

Ward took charge of Rovers for the second time in December 2012, having previously managed the club between 1993-1996.

But a poor run of form lately has seen the side slip dangerously close the trap door, currently three points above the drop zone in 20th place.

Chairman Nick Higgs said: "This is something we have had planned for a while, with discussions taking place as far back as last season."

"We believe this is now the right time to make the switch, as we have to plan for next season and try to progress the club forward. This gives Darrell time to prepare for the pre-season and think about recruitment for next season."

"Darrell is an enthusiastic and ambitious young man, and he wants to achieve success here. We are 100% behind him in his new role, and are confident that he and John will continue to work extremely well together."

Former Mansfield and Hartlepool winger Clarke became player-manager at Salisbury in the summer of 2010 and won two promotions in three season to guide the Whites into the Conference Premier.

This will be his first managerial role in the Football League. Rovers take on Morecombe this weekend, who themselves will be looking to avoid a late slip into the relegation battle, though on 48 points, a win over Rovers would probably see them safe.

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