NOTTS County have sacked manager Keith Curle, the former Sheffield United and England defender, after less than a year in charge.
The Magpies sit 10th in npower League One, but lost to rock-bottom Hartlepool on Saturday and have won just two of their last 11 games in all competitions.
Members of Curle’s backroom staff, Colin Lee and Colin West, have also lost their jobs.
Chairman Ray Trew said in a club statement: “This obviously is not a decision that we have taken lightly and certainly not one that I have taken any pleasure in reaching, I have a tremendous amount of respect for Keith Curle both as a man and a manager.”
Curle, who represented United and Barnsley between 2000-02, was appointed last February and led the Magpies on a club-record 22-game unbeaten run away from home and appeared to be building a promotion campaign this season. But poor form since the start of December has seen County slip out of the play-off picture, although they remain only five points off the top six with games in hand.
However, Trew suggested that he has acted after fans voted with their feet at recent home games.
Trew said: “Since Keith first came in, just under a year ago, we, as a board, have backed him to bring in the players that he felt could move Notts County onto the next level and felt that he assembled a squad capable of challenging for promotion this season. However, recent displays have unfortunately not lived up to expectations and our poor disciplinary record this season has only further hampered our progress.
“Attendances at Meadow Lane have dropped in recent weeks and this has made this a business decision as much as a footballing one, because fans are obviously key to the club and their support is essential.
“I would like to thank Keith, as well as Colin Lee and Colin West, for all of their hard work and effort over the past year, there have been plenty of highs to enjoy in that time but there comes a time when we, as a board, have to consider what we feel is best for the future of the club.”
Development squad manager Chris Kiwomya has been named as caretaker manager at Meadow Lane and will take charge of the Magpies’ trip to Stevenage tomorrow.
Paul Dickov, meanwhile, resigned yesterday as manager of Oldham after Saturday’s 3-1 League One defeat to Walsall.
The 40-year-old has been under pressure at Boundary Park for some time following poor form, but earned a stay of execution after masterminding a famous FA Cup victory over Liverpool last weekend.