National League North strugglers Kettering Town have sacked manager Nick Eaden.
The departure of the former Barnsley star was announced in a short statement on Wednesday morning, the Poppies citing their poor start and Tuesday night’s early exit from the FA Cup for ending his reign.
Steve Kinniburgh and Luke Graham were named as joint caretaker managers and will take charge of Saturday’s league trip to Hereford as officials look to make a permanent appointment.
The Poppies said: “Kettering Town Football Club can confirm that first team manager Nicky Eaden has left the club with immediate effect.
“This decision has been made following our poor start to the league campaign and early exit from this year’s FA Cup.
“The board accept that the step up, to the National League structure, was always going to be challenging but recent performances and our FA Cup elimination were not acceptable.
“Steve Kinniburgh and Luke Graham will take the role of joint caretaker manager, while the club conducts a thorough recruitment process for a new, full-time manager.”
The 46-year-old Eaden, pictured, was handed the reins at Latimer Park in June after Marcus Law resigned, despite leading the club to the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central title and promotion.
Eaden had already accepted responsibility for his side’s poor run of results and last night’s 2-1 defeat in their FA Cup second qualifying round replay at Sutton Coldfield Town.
After the reverse he told the Northamptonshire Telegraph: “We are going to have to step up now, there’s no two ways about it. I’ll take the blame as I pick the team, the buck stops with me.”
Eaden – who moved into management over the past 18 months with spells at Nuneaton Borough and Hednesford Town – had high hopes after returning to a club where he enjoyed success as a player and a coach during Mark Cooper’s reign as manager between 2007 and 2009.
As a defender, he made 550 appearances in the Football League for Barnsley, Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic, Nottingham Forest and Lincoln City. In Non-League he turned out for Halesowen Town, Solihull Moors and the Poppies.
Image courtesy of Peter Short