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Bristol Rovers grant manager Ben Garner period of extended leave

Bristol Rovers have granted manager Ben Garner a period of extended leave in order to deal with a private matter relating to the health of a close family member.

The 39-year-old was appointed to his first managerial role in December, succeeding Graham Coughlan at the Memorial Stadium.

Garner, a former West Brom and Crystal Palace assistant manager, was in charge of the Gas for their League One defeat at home to Doncaster on Saturday.

A club statement read: “The football club will support Ben and his family during this difficult period and will be in constant dialogue to monitor what help it can provide.

“We hope the privacy of Ben and his family is respected at this time.”

Rovers have provided no time frame for when Garner may return. Kevin Maher has been placed in charge of the first-team for their FA Cup third-round replay at Coventry on Tuesday.