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Chairman's update on manager search

11 February 2016

Chairman Tony Stewart talks to

Rotherham United Chairman Tony Stewart has talked to the official website to answer a number of key questions as the club continue the search for a new first team manager.

After a few days of change at the AESSEAL New York Stadium, could you talk through how events unfolded over the last few days?
The Board met on Monday morning to discuss the club's position after Saturday’s game, we made the unanimous decision that we had to make a change to give us the best possible chance to retain our Championship status. Once it had been decided this is what needed to be done I then met with Neil, we shook hands and we switched our focus on the pursuit of a new First Team Manager.
How difficult a decision was it to part with Neil Redfearn?
It was a very difficult decision. Neil Redfearn came on board with enthusiasm and brought lots of ideas which we were impressed with. He was keen to help develop the youth system which is something that we felt was needed, and we have seen the Club make great strides in that area during Neil’s time with us. 
Neil is an honest man, a real gentleman and I thoroughly enjoyed working with him, however we are in a results business and we haven’t been getting the results. As I said in our statement, letting Neil go was done with a heavy heart but we felt it was a decision that had to be made for the best interests of the Club.
What credentials are you looking for in the next Rotherham United manager?
In my tenure I have had five managers; all with differing qualities which we felt met the club’s needs at that particular time. Given our current position in the table with 16 games remaining we are looking for someone who will hit the ground running. We want someone with experience, who has knowledge of The Championship, and that was the view of the Board as a whole. 
With 16 games to go is there likely to be a short term appointment to take us to the end of the current 2015/2016 campaign?
Our primary focus has to be, and is, the 16 remaining games. If, beyond that, the appointment has worked for both parties we wouldn’t rule out extending that contract. 
How many applications have been received?
To date, we have received in excess of 50 applications and they still keep on coming so we reconvene regularly throughout each day to assess if our primary targets alter in anyway. We’ve a clear preference for the type of manager we'd like to be in situ and we're well into that process now to be able to look to make a swift appointment.
Who will be involved in the selection process?
The Board of Directors will be involved in the selection process, along with the Head of Recruitment and external advisors.
How quickly could a new appointment be made?
As I speak today we have three definitive candidates that have been shortlisted. They all have experience in The Championship. As aforementioned, that could change due to the ever evolving list of names we have put to us but we're not looking to pontificate for too long. We are holding discussions in the next 24/48 hours we will be hoping to make a very imminent decision. 

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