Process to find new Forest Green boss will be lengthy, says Gary Seward
INTERIM Forest Green manager Gary Seward insists the process of finding the right man to lead Rovers will be lengthy.
Previously assistant to former boss David Hockaday, Seward will take charge of Rovers for tomorrow’s FA Cup fourth qualifying round tie against high-flying Conference South side Bishop’s Stortford at the New Lawn (3pm).
Appointed as Hockaday’s assistant in October 2010, Seward is expected to throw his hat into the ring for the vacancy at the New Lawn.
The Londoner previously worked alongside the likes of Alan Ball and Sam Allardyce in either a coaching or scouting capacity.
He is a former assistant coach at IFK Gothenburg in Sweden as was part of the coaching staff at Swedish giants when the club defeated Manchester United in the Champions League and had a long spell at Wimbledon/MK Dons as European scout, chief scout and reserve team manager and was also European scout for Coventry City, having followed former boss and close friend Iain Dowie to the Ricoh Arena from Crystal Palace.
“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,” said Seward.
“We must have had more than 100 applications already, which is not surprising, so it could be a few weeks before anything happens.”
Seward is convinced the players are behind him.
Seward said: “It's been a difficult week, and when David said goodbye to the players there was a lot of shock and obviously a lot of emotion.
“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.
“Players take a lot of it onto themselves, so it’s been a difficult time (for them).
“But in the little bit of a time since, we’ve done really well to turn it around.
“We’ve tweaked things, tried a few things differently and it’s been very much a spirited way of working in the last few days.
"When we were coming off from training today my assistant (Scott Bartlett) said it reminded him of that pre-season feeling that we’d had – high expectations and confidence levels.
"So we've taken a negative and we’re turned into a massive positive. Smiling faces at football clubs is what you need.
“Everybody knows that every player here has the ability, it’s now just trying to bring that ability out on them on a Saturday."
Seward must do without suspended trio Eddie Oshodi, Aarran Racine and James Norwood against the Bishops, while Jared Hodgkiss (neck), Matty Taylor (knee) and Andy Mangan (groin) are unlikely to feature.
But Paul Green and Steve Brogan could both be brought back into the fold after falling out of favour under Hockaday.
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