Luke Williams: Swindon Town head coach's departure confirmed by relegated club

Luke Williams
Luke Williams was appointed as Martin Ling's successor at Swindon Town

Swindon Town have confirmed the departure of head coach Luke Williams following relegation to League Two.

Williams had been in full-time charge since March 2016, earning a five-year contract after impressing as caretaker.

The 37-year-old was joined by former Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood as director of football in November.

Sherwood took a step back from that role in recent times, but the Robins only won two of their final 11 League One matches on their way to relegation.

Williams, who has spent the past four years coaching at the County Ground, said after Saturday's 3-0 defeat by Charlton that he would have a meeting with chairman Lee Power.

A statement from the Robins said: "Following our relegation to League Two, reviews have taken place and, as a result, the football club and Luke Williams have mutually agreed to go their separate ways.

"The club would also like to confirm that the search for a new candidate to take the club forward is well under way and we will issue a further update in due course."

Unique structure fails to pay off for Robins

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Swindon Town: Does Tim Sherwood manage the Robins or not?

Sherwood was named director of football at the County Ground, a move described as "one of the biggest appointments the club has ever made" by Power.

The former Spurs manager was given responsibility for "transfers, the way we play, the formations and the picking of the team" - though Williams was kept in his post.

Despite an impressive 3-0 win over Charlton in their first game following Sherwood's arrival, the appointment did not result in a sustained improvement in form, as Swindon have won only seven of their 31 games since his hiring.

At times, it was unclear whether or not Sherwood was managing the team, though as the season came to its end his first-team responsibilities decreased, and he did not attend all of the Robins' games.

But the return to a more conventional coaching structure did not pay dividends, as a four-game winless run sent them down to the fourth tier for the first time since 2012.

Analysis

Andrew Hawes, BBC Wiltshire's Swindon Town commentator

With fan frustration writ large at the County Ground, a continuation of the status quo was pretty much impossible.

Power has been open about the failure of the club's recruitment over the past year, and the interlude of Sherwood being the pivotal figure at the training ground didn't really help Williams either.

That said, questions remain over whether the style of play Williams was wedded to could both develop players for sale and get results in the nether regions of the EFL - both requirements of the job.

How much, or little control, his successor gets in the acquisition of new players could well define their fate.

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