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Walsall axe manager Chris Hutchings

Sport | Published:

Walsall have today sacked boss Chris Hutchings and assistant Martin O'Connor.

Walsall have today sacked boss Chris Hutchings and assistant Martin O'Connor.

Fans - name Hutchings' successor: Who should replace Chris Hutchings at Walsall?

The Saddlers are eight points from safety at the bottom of League One and were thumped 4-1 at Peterborough yesterday.

Hutchings won just four of his final 22 games in charge and leaves the Saddlers in a woeful situation – forcing the board to finally act.

Head of youth Dean Smith has been put in caretaker charge ahead of crucial relegation clashes at Tranmere on Saturday and Bristol Rovers on Tuesday.

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Chairman Jeff Bonser said: "Chris and Martin have both worked extremely hard during their time at the club. They have been professional throughout and have conducted themselves with great dignity in what have been difficult times.

"Their preparation and professionalism has been second-to-none but we are in a results business and, unfortunately, results have not gone their way.

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"We wish Chris and Martin all the very best for the future and hope they find future employment in the game, then enjoy the success that their hard work and professionalism deserves."

Hutchings joined the club two years ago but won just 31 times in 98 games and had been under pressure for months after a disastrous start to the season.

The news comes after furious fans bombarded chief executive Stefan Gamble with e-mails to reveal their anger at the club's desperate plight.

Attendances are falling and supporters had become disillusioned with the club's board and their refusal to act sooner.

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But Hutchings had always vowed not to quit and only yesterday remained defiant and insisted he would stay strong after defeat at London Road.

He said: "We know what the players can do, they've shown it in the past and we've got to keep maintaining that faith.

"It's a 4-1 defeat on paper but the performance was much improved from Saturday's 3-0 defeat to Notts County and when their goalkeeper gets man of the match it says a lot.

"We've got to dust ourselves down and if we can perform like that and take chances, then hopefully we'll get wins under our belts.

"Both sides tried to play and we've come out on the wrong end of a 4-1 defeat, but it wasn't a 4-1 defeat in our eyes."

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