Owen Coyle resigns as Ross County manager

Owen Coyle leaves Ross County
Coyle won four of his 22 matches in charge in all competitions

Owen Coyle has resigned as Ross County manager after just five months in charge at the struggling Scottish Premiership club.

The 51-year-old took over in September last year, leaving with them three points adrift at the bottom.

County won four of their 21 league matches under Coyle, whose assistant Sandy Stewart has also quit.

Coyle said it was "in everyone's best interests" to offer his resignation.

He won his first match in charge after replacing Jim McIntyre - a 2-0 victory against fellow strugglers Kilmarnock - and then claimed two more wins in the next five league games.

However, his team then failed to win in their next 12 top-flight games, bringing that run to an end with a 4-1 success at Dundee on 3 February.

A 2-0 defeat at fellow strugglers St Johnstone on Saturday was his final game in charge.

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Highlights: St Johnstone 2-0 Ross County

"Myself and the chairman had a chat on Monday and after some reflective thought I felt for the good of Ross County - and the challenging situation with my family being in England - it was in everyone's best interests for me to offer my resignation, which the chairman duly accepted," said Coyle.

Before taking over at Dingwall, Coyle previously managed Blackburn Rovers and has also had spells at St Johnstone, Burnley, Bolton and Wigan.

Analysis

Barry Wilson, former Ross County, Livingston and Inverness midfielder:

It was a huge surprise, I just didn't see it coming. Coyle was less upbeat after their last game - and he's usually always upbeat after a game, no matter the result - so that was maybe a little hint that the positivity was beginning to drain.

The timing might be a blessing, because I don't see their game at the weekend going ahead. I can't see the league asking Partick Thistle to travel up from Glasgow, so there's time.

They have a really good coach in Stuart Kettlewell, who's in charge of the under-20s, but it's maybe come too soon for him. It might be a job for a more experienced manager, given County's precarious position in the league. But they have a chance, they're still well in touch with the teams above them.

I know it was the most difficult decision chairman Roy MacGregor has ever made to sack Jim McIntyre and Billy Dodds in September, it was a really close call and he'll maybe think now it was a mistake.

It hasn't worked out for Owen, for whatever reason. I'm sure Roy has made some big gambles in his business career, and he's been a huge success so he was right to back his judgement.

I just hope sacking McIntyre doesn't cost County their place in the Premiership.

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