Ryan On The Record: Proven track record is key

It has served us well in the past, and it’s time to put that selection ‘matrix’ of ours to good use again, writes John Ryan.

Applications are currently coming in, and this last week has seen the club linked with the likes of Paul Dickov, Terry Butcher, Neil Warnock and, following his dismissal from Wolves, Dean Saunders.

Rest assured we will be looking to continue the success we have had with managers since we appointed Dave Penney and Sean O’Driscoll.

Terry Bramall, Dick Watson and myself have discussed the criteria at length and we came up with 18 salient points that will eventually decide the man for us.

A handful of these include: good at buying and selling, good communicator, good contacts in the game and works well in the community.

But above all he will be a proven professional, possess his coaching badges and have a proven track record.

Our record over the last ten years, which has seen us win five trophies, is quite extraordinary and one, I feel, cannot be repeated in the lower divisions whatsoever.

Our only setback in that time was relegation from the Championship last year.

But we have bounced back at the first attempt, another remarkable achievement, especially when you realise what budget Dean had to work with.

I harked back in last week’s column to the short time he had to pull this squad together and he did a remarkable job until leaving us for Wolverhampton.

Brian Flynn took us over the finishing line, assisted by player coach Rob Jones, and he remains very much part of us here at Rovers.

He will play a vital role, and is keen to do so, in developing our footballing plans for the future.

Whoever we choose we want our supporters to get behind him and the team for next term.

It will be a tough challenge as we found out before - and even more so this time around with the parachute payments for the three clubs coming down and those still drawing on them.

Like Paul Goodwin of the Free Press said to me, the Championship is now looking more and more like a Premier League 2.

I’d be delighted with a top ten finish and this can be achieved with the right players brought in to add to what we’ve got.

One thing is for sure, the new players will have to want to sign for Rovers and not just be coming for a meal ticket. They will all have to follow the brilliant example laid down by Captain Fantastic Rob Jones.

Please do me a favour and buy your season tickets. There’s plenty to look forward to next season.