Rod Stringer is hungry for his next challenge despite believing his shock sacking by National League South Chelmsford City was not a football decision.
Stringer, pictured, defended his reign in The Non-League Paper on Sunday after being axed last week in the wake of his side’s defeat at Hungerford Town the previous Saturday.
The reverse left the Clarets seven points adrift of the play-off spots with former Chelmsford star Robbie Simpson installed as interim manager soon afterwards.
Chairman Steve Shore, who is still attempting to lead a long-awaited takeover of the club since inheriting the role in June 2018, said in a statement that performances “have not reached those of previous years” and revealed he had concerns following their FA Cup exit to Corinthian-Casuals in September.
“It looks like they’ve been waiting for an excuse to get rid of me,” Stringer told The NLP this week.
“I don’t see this as a football decision at all, unfortunately. We’ve lost one in 12, we’re just outside the play-offs, we’re in the last 16 of the Trophy, we’re in the quarter finals of the Essex Senior cup. I just think it’s a clash of personalities.
“I never saw it coming, it’s been a total shock.”
Stringer, who took Braintree into Step 2, was appointed in 2016 and led Chelmsford to the National League South play-off final in his first season, where they lost to Ebbsfleet, before reaching the semi-finals twice more, lifting the Essex Senior Cup and reaching the 2017 FA Cup first round.
He won 51 per cent of his 194 games in charge and was still on course for a successful season, with an FA Trophy tie at Aveley to come this weekend.
“I feel very disappointed in the way it has been done after I’ve been at the club for three-and-a-half seasons,” he said, after receiving the news before their friendly fixture against Harlow Town on Tuesday night.
“I felt I was owed a conversation and it should have been dealt differently – not sack me at an away game as we’re about to have a friendly! I feel I’ve been treated very harshly. As far as I’m concerned, it’s not results related.
“The first year I was there, the club was in financial trouble and I helped them out massively. I’m still owed that money. It’s been a very tough place to manage with a lot of off-field circumstances that we’ve had to deal with. There’s a lot of uncertainty at the club with the takeover.
“I was still confident of making the play-offs, the last eight of the Trophy and the Essex Senior Cup final. I’m devastated not to be at the club with the supporters because they have been excellent. Some of the texts I’ve had from them, players, it’s been pretty emotional.”
This is the first time Stringer has been sacked in his managerial career, an indication alone of his success, and he wants a return.
“All I’d say to any clubs is I’m still hungry and I’ll be open to listen to any situation because I’m a football man and if the deal is right for me and the club, then they’re going to get a good man with good staff and someone who’s got very good contacts in the game,” he said.
Make sure you get your copy of The Non-League Paper on Sunday for the big picture and latest news from across Non-League over the last seven days.
As well as exclusive match reports and pictures from all of Saturday’s fixtures in the Vanarama National League, the BetVictor-Sponsored Isthmian League, Southern League and Northern Premier League, the paper’s live coverage extends all the way to Steps 5 and 6 of the National League System.