Latics have sacked manager Warren Joyce after a torrid four and half months in charge at the DW Stadium. The former Manchester United reserve manager struggled to come to terms with the challenges of Championship football and was relieved of his duties by Chairman David Sharpe today.
Graham Barrow has been made interim manager until the end of the season.
Latics have won only five of Joyce’s 22 Championship games and are four points away from safety with nine games left to play.
David Sharpe commented:
“It is unfortunate that we have made this decision but with the team in such a perilous position in the league, we need to act now because we cannot afford to fall any further behind.
“Warren was appointed with the future in mind in terms of developing players but preserving our Championship status is the absolute priority and we have a duty to do whatever gives us the best chance of doing that.
“Results and performances have simply not been up to standard often enough in recent matches and although we acknowledge the difficulties faced in managing a team in a league where we are competing against clubs with much larger budgets, the nature of some of our recent defeats, especially against close rivals, has fallen short in terms of what we as a club, and all our supporters, expect.”
Consensus amongst supporters groups and websites was that Joyce should go and it was only a matter of time before he would leave after a series of poor results against teams around them in the table.
The club also confirmed that Head of First Team Coaching Andy Welsh has left with immediate effect.
Owner Dave Whelan and Chairman David Sharpe must now think carefully before appointing a new manager after a series of ill-advised managerial appointments over the last few years.
Early contenders for the role include recently sacked Derby County manager Steve McClaren, former Rangers manager Mark Warburton and Latics current captain Stephen Warnock.