St Neots Manager Sacked

ST NEOTS manager Marvin Johnson was dismissed yesterday (Wednesday). The club said the reason for his dismissal was down to recent poor results away from Rowley Park and poor performances from the club. St Neots have won just four of their last 10 games,

ST NEOTS manager Marvin Johnson was dismissed yesterday (Wednesday).

The club said the reason for his dismissal was down to recent poor results away from Rowley Park and poor performances from the club. St Neots have won just four of their last 10 games, losing four and drawing two. The club, which before the season applied for promotion, languish 17th in the UCL Premier Division and are 30 points adrift of the leaders.

St Neots have played 13 away games this season, and have won just one of those games. Three have been draws and the remaining nine have all been defeats, seeing Saints drop 33 points on the road.

Throughout the season they have averaged almost two goals a game, but have conceded one more. Out of 27 games only nine have been won, with six draws and 12 defeats. Their poor league run has been coupled with their shock Huntingdonshire Senior Cup exit to Eynesbury Rovers in the league below them in January and their FA Vase third round exit to Needham Market the month before.

Johnson, who was only appointed in March 2008, said the decision was "a surprise and a shock to say the least", but "that's football".

"In general I thought results had picked up recently and when I spoke to the chairman he said the team had underachieved and hadn't been performing well recently. I believed that when I came here it was a two or three year plan but obviously they have changed their minds.

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"I have no animosity towards the club and I'm not bitter but I thought they would be patient because we had a young team who needed time to develop. Of course the results are a factor as we've had some bad weather recently but in the league we haven't been defeated since January and we haven't lost at home since September.

"I knew results hadn't been great but I also thought we were building a team for the future. I still hope the players will do well there and I'm sure the club will be there long after I'm gone.

"We had some great players who I managed to persuade to join the club and some to even drop down a few leagues to play, like Josh Sozzo and Parys Okai. I still want the team to finish as high as possible and the players have been brilliant, sending me texts and calling to say how helpful I have been to them.

"I thought they would let me give the club some stability as they have not had that for a long time. I think they expected better results but if they had told me at the start of the season they wanted a top 10 or top three finish I would have bought in better players to achieve that.

"They really are a lovely team and I wish them all the best for the future. I have seen the players I brought in already impact the team so hopefully they can continue to do that and be as professional as possible. Now I'll take a few weeks off and spend some time with the kids then have a look at where I can move on to."

St Neots chairman John Delaney said: "Marvin has brought a lot of positives to the club and there are lots of things that he has done that we have been very, very pleased with. We have a good, technically gifted side we are pleased with but this is a results business and the results haven't been good enough.

"We have good home form but we have only won one away game all season and that's not good enough. We set out to strengthen the side early in the New Year and we did that but the bottom line is that we have expectations, not to win the league but certainly to finish higher than we currently are.

"The amount of times we have played and taken the lead and not won have been far too many. We were disappointed to go out of the Cup to Eynesbury and we were two up on Saturday and surrendered two goals and two points and we should have gone up two places but went down one.

"We felt that if we can't get three points at Bourne, a side that had lost their last two games and conceded nine goals, then we have a problem. We haven't won a local derby all season and we couldn't keep going on like this as it's a results business.

"We do have a three year plan to get us up and out of the league but our expectations for where we are on the pitch and where we are off it didn't match up. We've all had a good relationship with Marvin and it's regrettable that he has had to go as we've all been extremely supportive but we are a team that should not be fifth from bottom.

"We aspire to a higher standard of football and that is our game plan. We know what we want to achieve but how long do we go by getting beaten on the road? We didn't expect to win the league this year as we want to win when we will be strong enough to stay up but just because we didn't expect to win doesn't mean we didn't expect to be doing better.

"We do seem to have a revolving door of managers and that's not what we want, what we want is stability and to build a dynasty at this club but the results have to come first. After the Eynesbury defeat we had to address our inability to win away in the league and the figures speak for themselves.

"If we could match our away form with our home form then we would be closer to the top of that league than the bottom. Things just couldn't carry on the way they were going. We're still in two cups and can still move up the league so with six weeks left then it was time for change.