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Football League

Henning Berg 'bitterly disappointed' after being sacked by Blackburn after just 57 days in charge

Berg had been handed a three-year contract after replacing Steve Kean

Henning Berg has said he is "bitterly disappointed" having been sacked as manager of Blackburn Rovers, just 57 days after taking charge.

The Norwegian's coaching staff have also been shown the exit at Ewood Park following a spell that lasted just 10 games.

With the club investing heavily in players following last season's relegation from the Premier League, the owners are desperate for a quick return to the top flight.

However, that has looked increasingly unlikely under Berg, with the 43-year-old guiding Blackburn to just one win during him time in charge and the club sitting 17th in the table at the time of his exit.

There have also been off field concerns amid reports that Berg stormed out of Blackburn's Christmas party after he was made to wear a stocking on his head. He apparently grew visibly angry when told to dance and wear a Michael Jackson wig.

Berg expressed frustration at losing his job in a statement released through the League Managers' Association, and believes the team can soon battle their way up the table.

He said: "It goes without saying that I am bitterly disappointed to have been relieved of my managerial duties at Ewood Park after just 57 days since my appointment.

"At this stage I would just like to release a short statement thanking the Blackburn Rovers fans for their incredible support during my time in charge.

"I have always enjoyed a fantastic relationship with them dating back to my playing days where we shared some great memories.

"It was an honour for me to manage a club that is so close to my heart and I now wish all of them every success for the rest of the season and beyond.

"I would also like to thank the players and staff for their support and commitment in this short period. They have all done their best and unfortunately the results in these 10 games have not reflected their performances.

"I wish the club all the best in the future, and am sure that with a few additions in the January transfer window, they will have a good chance of getting a play-off place."

Berg's first game in charge was a 2-0 defeat at Crystal Palace and his last a 1-0 Boxing Day loss to Middlesbrough - the fifth defeat in six matches.

Wednesday's latest defeat prompted talks between the club's owners, Venky's, in India, after the game was screened back to them.

An official statement on the club's website read: "Blackburn Rovers FC has announced the departure of manager Henning Berg, assistant manager Eric Black, first team coach Iain Brunskill and goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms with immediate effect.

"This decision has been taken following a very disappointing sequence of results.

"The club thanks the four men for their efforts and wishes them every success for the future."

Venky's director Balaji Rao was quoted in The Times of India as saying: "We have not been doing well and dropping points and losing matches quite often. I want to go up."

Berg was given a three-year contract after replacing the much maligned Steve Kean. The Scot had been the target of fans' abuse with many unhappy with his appointment, which was made soon after the takeover by Venky's.

However, compared to Berg, Kean's record was impressive - Blackburn lost just twice in the 13 Championship matches he was in charge for.

Blackburn fans will likely be pleased to see another change at the helm, with Rovers Action Group secretary Mark Fish admitting his "great delight" at the decision to let Berg go.

He told Sky Sports News: "He was a fantastic player for the club, but for whatever reason it just didn't work out for him here.

"It's difficult to say what. Perhaps the expectations from the fans, outside influences maybe. Henning Berg just didn't have the nous to get the job done? I don't know.

"He just couldn't get the team playing, he couldn't get them fighting. But someone needs to come out now and hold their hands up.

"There were a lot of people involved in the process. A lot of good, better candidates were overlooked for this position.

"But they (Venkys) seemed determined to bring in an ex (Blackburn) player and it just hasn't worked out the way they had hoped.

"Why didn't Berg bring in his own coaching staff? It was my understanding that he would bring his own people in with him.

"But as it ended up he was left with Steve Kean's men to help out. Someone has to come out and explain why this has happened."

When asked about the remainder of the season, Fish was adamant that Rovers can still achieve their goal of promotion back to the Premier League.

"Do I think we can do it? Yes. Absolutely, we've got the ability in the squad to still get the job done. You've only got to look at Reading last season.

"We need to have one of those runs. Also, the stands are empty. We need to be picking up results and getting people back through the gates again."