Stevenage sack manager Gary Smith after 'worrying' run

 

Stevenage have sacked manager Gary Smith after a run of 14 losses in their last 18 games.

Tuesday's loss to Bury, which followed a 4-0 win at Sheffield United on Saturday, left Boro 15th in League One.

"It's always difficult when you have to replace the man in charge," said chairman Phil Wallace.

"Gary has done his best but the performances and results over the past few months have been worrying in the extreme," he added.

Smith's Stevenage record

  • Won: 21 (32%)
  • Drawn: 19 (28%)
  • Lost: 26 (40%)

Defender and captain Mark Roberts, 29, has been placed in caretaker charge of the first team.

Smith had never managed an English side when he replaced Graham Westley in January 2012, with his only experience coming as boss of MLS side Colorado Rapids, where he won the Championship Cup in 2010.

But he maintained the standard that had earned Westley back-to-back promotions from the Blue Square Bet Premier to the third tier and, on top of taking Tottenham to a hard-fought FA Cup fifth-round replay, he sealed a spot in the play-offs last season.

Despite losing to Sheffield United in the play-off semi-final and missing out on a third consecutive promotion, Stevenage started the new campaign well and were among the top six as recently as December.

But a dismal run of results, in which Boro have taken 17 points from the last 69 available, has seen them tumble spectacularly down the table and closer to the relegation zone than the play-off places.

"After a very promising start with a new squad, we have slipped alarmingly and the board are concerned that the present management team may be unable to deliver the club's vision of increasing attendances and developing players in a winning environment," added Wallace.

"We have waited longer than most others in similar circumstances, but we cannot in all good conscience continue to watch this downward spiral and do nothing.

"It's time for a change and we'll see who applies for the position. Meanwhile, I'm indebted to skipper Mark Roberts who will, once again, step up and take charge whilst our search takes place."

Smith is the 33rd manager to be dismissed this season, a situation League Managers' Association chief executive Richard Bevan has described as "embarrassing".