The key men at Ashton Gate.Steve Cotterill was appointed the club's manager in December 2013, signing a three-and-a-half year contract. Cotterill began his managerial career with a two-year spell at Sligo Rovers in Ireland, whom he led into Europe. He moved to Cheltenham Town in 1997, then a non-league club. They were promoted from the Southern League Premier Division to the Football Conference in his first season. The success continued, lifting the FA Trophy a year later and steering the Robins to second place in the Conference – at a time when there were no play-offs. It mattered little as Cheltenham secured the Conference title in the following campaign to reach the Football League for the first time. Two successive top half finishes in League Two were to follow before Cotterill then took Cheltenham to the League Two play-off final, where they won 1-0 at the Millennium Stadium against Rushden & Diamonds. Cotterill remains a hero to fans of Cheltenham, who have never seen their side higher than the heady League One days of his reign. In the summer of 2002 he was rewarded for his Cheltenham exploits with a move to Stoke City before joining Sunderland soon after as assistant to Howard Wilkinson. In 2004 Burnley came calling for Cotterill and he maintained their Championship status, despite going through a period where the club’s best players were being sold. Cotterill spent the last few months of the 2009/10 season at Notts County, where he helped them claim the League Two title – his fourth promotion as a manager. He then helped steer Portsmouth through a period of financial difficulty, before taking over at Nottingham Forest 18 months later. Cotterill’s previous role in football before moving to City was coaching with Queens Park Rangers under Harry Redknapp’s management. But he yearned for a managerial role and turned down other offers to take the helm in BS3. Cotterill's assistant is John Pemberton, appointed in the summer of 2013 by previous boss Sean O'Driscoll. Pemberton, who made his name as a player at Crystal Palace, Sheffield United and Leeds United, works alongside Cotterill on all first team duties, as well as providing a pivotal link between the first team and under-21 development squad. The 48-year-old is hugely respected within the game, having progressed through the youth team coaching ranks to first team coach at Nottingham Forest between 1998 and 2009, before later establishing Sheffield United as one of the top Academies outside the Premier League, guiding the Blades to the FA Youth Cup final for the first time in 2011. Among the players Pemberton helped develop during his time at Forest include Jermaine Jenas, Michael Dawson, Andy Reid, Wes Morgan and City’s Brendan Moloney, while no fewer than nine of his Academy graduates at Sheffield United have gone on to play for the first team, including Jordan Slew, who was sold for over £1m to Blackburn Rovers in 2011. Pemberton enjoyed success with coaching England Under-17s and Under-19s in the 2009/10 season, and most recently worked with O’Driscoll at Nottingham Forest, where he held the post of professional development coach, working with the under-21s. As well his youth team feats at Forest, Pemberton is also remembered for masterminding the club’s famous 3-0 FA Cup third round victory away at Manchester City in 2009 in a two-game spell as caretaker manager.