Carlisle United have sacked their manager Greg Abbott after a poor start to the new season, which has seen the club claim just two points from their opening six games.
Abbott was the third longest serving manager in English football having joined the League One side in 2008, having moved into coaching after a successful playing career with Bradford, Halifax and Hull City, winning the old Third Division with the Bantams in 1984-85, which was unfortunately overshadowed by the Valley parade fire at the end of the season.
Having hung up his boots in 1996, the 49-year-old embarked on a number of coaching ventures at youth level, before deciding the time was right to move into senior management. Having originally joined Carlisle as assistant manager to Neil McDonald and then John Warn, Abbott eventually took over the reins at Brunton Park after Ward was sacked five years ago.
Abbott guided Carlisle to the 2011 Football League Trophy where they beat Brentford through a Peter Murphy goal at Wembley. However, after the 1-0 defeat to Port Vale on Saturday, Abbott has been dismissed with the side 22nd in League One.
"Unfortunately the continued dip in attendances, in direct relation to results, left all parties with no other option than to reach this conclusion," a club statement read.
United opened their campaign with a landslide 5-1 defeat at home against Leyton Orient, but they managed to triumph over Championship side Blackburn Rovers in the Capital One Cup first round, winning 4-3 on penalties.
But back-to-back 4-0 defeats to Bradford and Coventry was followed by a 1-1 draw at Colchester, before another drubbing was dished out at home when Leicester knocked United out of the Cup with a 5-2 victory.
A goalless draw with Brentford left them in the relegation zone, and with Port Vale adding to their woes on the weekend, the decision was made to relieve Abbott of his duties.
“The board would like to go on record with their acknowledgement and appreciation of the hard work Greg Abbott has done for Carlisle United since he joined the club as first team and reserve team coach in July 2006,” the statement continued.
“He has maintained a very professional and close working relationship with everyone at the club and he has put his heart and soul into his stated aim of bringing improvement to every level and area of the business. The trips to Wembley and the year-on-year improvement in league position, prior to last season, were testament to his efforts and dedication to the job at hand.
“This has been a very difficult period and he has worked hard to find the players he felt would help to turn things round through what has been an unbelievable run of injuries.”
Assistant manager Graham Kavanagh and youth team coach David Irons will take over first-team duties until a permanent replacement is announced.