NON-LEAGUE FOOTBALL: Clarke and Gleeson take temporary charge of St Neots Town ahead of derby showdown against St Ives Town tonight

Lee Clarke (standing, right) is now in temporary charge of St Neots Town with Dan Gleeson. Picture:

Lee Clarke (standing, right) is now in temporary charge of St Neots Town with Dan Gleeson. Picture: CLAIRE HOWES - Credit: Archant

Director of football Iain Parr insists St Neots Town will not rush into filling their managerial vacancy.

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke was upbeat in defeat.

St Ives Town manager Ricky Marheineke was upbeat in defeat. - Credit: Archant

Assistant boss Lee Clarke and recently-arrived player-coach Dan Gleeson have been placed in interim charge of first-team affairs following the resignation of Andy Davies yesterday.

Their temporary tenure starts tonight with a mouthwatering Huntingdonshire derby showdown against St Ives Town, 7.45pm, and will continue into the new year.

Despite Saints sitting in the Southern League Premier Division relegation zone - they are one place and one point from safety - Parr insists this is not a time for knee-jerk reactions or hasty decisions.

He said: “Non-league football is often very volatile. You only have to look at the number of managers we have had in recent years to see that.

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“But now it is essential we have the stability in our management team to complement what is going on behind the scenes at the club.

“We need to make sure we get the next appointment right and I don’t see any benefit in rushing it.

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“Dan and Lee are both capable men who can lead us through the next few games and we’ll go from there in the new year. “Lee has been working with Andy and is respected by the players, while Dan has been managing at Cambridge City for most of the season. Now they have the opportunity to put their stamp on things.”

The first chalelnge for Clarke and Gleeson will be attempting to snap a run of eight matches without a victory in all competitions.

That certainly won’t be easy against a St Ives side enjoying a purple patch.

Ricky Marheineke’s men have powered eight points clear of the Premier Division drop-zone following a run of six league matches without defeat.

The St Ives chief had billed the clash as being more significant for St Neots than his own side - and the exit of Davies has not altered his opinion.

Marheineke said: “You have to class tonight as a must-win game for St Neots. All the pressure is on them - it’s their home game, they’re the team in the bottom four and they have had their manager resign.

“Our ambitions at the start of the season were simply to stay up, whereas St Neots spoke about challenging for a place in the play-offs.

“We’re meeting our targets at the moment and they are not, although I certainly think St Neots are a better team than their current league position suggests.”

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