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Football: Lewer to the Rovers rescue.

Byline: IAN CLARKSON

ALAN Lewer walked into possibly the worst job in football last month when he took over at Forest Green Rovers.

Life at The Lawn hadn't been a barrel of laughs for the perennial Conference strugglers this season, and their opening seven games bought a level of consistency that no-one wanted.

They had a 100 per cent record of seven straight defeats - scoring only three goals and conceding 25.

It wasn't a pretty picture, but Lewer is man who loves a challenge and can point to a successful rescue job at Telford as a glowing reference on his CV.

It was also a chance to jump back into football after being left high and dry by Mark Wright's eve-of-season dismissal at Chester.

However, he is delighted to be back at the helm and the well known wheeler-dealer is under no illusions about his remit.

'If we can finish fourth from bottom this season then I will be absolutely delighted,' said Lewer 'It will be a tough job and I watched them for one game before I took over and, if I am honest, they looked dire.

'However, all the players will start with a clean slate and I have been told by the Chairman that I can add to the squad.

'It is down to the players how they approach this challenge but people such as Matt Gadsby, Jon Richardson and Des Lyttle have all done very well at clubs in the past.

'There is a decent nucleus of a squad here and the addition of people like Stuart Roberts, who is a very lively winger, should help us no end.'

Forest Green Rovers have constantly battled against the odds since their arrival in the Conference six years ago.

Small crowds and a part-time squad have left the Gloucestershire club pushing water up hill.

Two FA Trophy final appearances also left Rovers' supporters floating on cloud nine, but it looks like this might be a season too far.

But Lewer insists that he has produced the Houdini trick before and is more than capable of doing it again.

'I saved Telford from the drop with only 14 games remaining,' added Lewer. 'At least I have got 35 games to save Forest Green.'
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:Sep 19, 2004
Words:374
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