EXCLUSIVE: Inside job

Tony Stewart
Tony Stewart
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ROTHERHAM United chairman Tony Stewart has outlined the reasons behind the departure of Ronnie Moore and why he has decided not to look outside the club for his immediate replacement.

He denies that it is a gamble but admits it is an experiment and says the club have pushed the ‘refresh’ button.

New team: Andy Liddell, left, with Paul Warne, centre, and Andy Dibble.

New team: Andy Liddell, left, with Paul Warne, centre, and Andy Dibble.

Moore’s departure, along with that of assistant Jimmy Mullen, was confirmed by the club yesterday and reserve-team manager Andy Liddell has put in caretaker charge until the end of the season, assisted by player/fitness coach Paul Warne and goalkeeping coach Andy Dibble.

Joining them yesterday was former Barnsley defender Nicky Eaden, for many year a teammate of Liddell at both Barnsley and Wigan, who has been assistant manager at Peterborough, latterly under Gary Johnson.

“I’m a risk-taker, not a gambler. I looked where we were and feel it is the right decision,” said Stewart.

“Andy is a very confident person and he, Paul (Warne) and Andy (Dibble) are people who have worked with the squad, coached them on a daily basis.

“I’ve seen the way Andy Liddell works - the way he organises; his discipline - and he’s knowledgable.

“We, as a board - for this isn’t solely Tony Stewart’s decision - looked and said ‘do we change and give these people their opportunity or run to the end of the season with Ronnie Moore?’.

“We had looked at the statistics, at where we had taken 12 points from the last 11 matches, and felt that wasn’t what would get us where we want to be.

“There was an opportunity to utilise the current coaching staff and felt we had to make that decision.

“They can’t wait to get stuck into this. We know they will put the effort in. It is an experiment; well, life is an experiment.”

On Moore’s departure, Stewart said: “It was sad because Ronnie is a very nice guy. We have worked closely and well and had a good understanding.

“When he came in 18 months ago, we both had the same aims and he was under no misapprehension. The picture was clear.

“We had to make a decision because of the results and he took the decision like a gentleman, so gallant, and he thanked us for what we’d done and said he’d always be close to Rotherham United.”