John Coleman sacked as Rochdale manager as League Two club look to salvage play-off bid

By Suraj Radia

John Coleman and assistant Jimmy Bell were tonight sacked by Rochdale following the club’s run of eight defeats in ten games leaving them off the League play-off pace.

The 50-year old joined the club a year ago from Accrington Stanley but only won 14 of his 52 games in charge as the Dale finished bottom of League One last season.

Club chairman Christopher Dunphy said the decision was in the best interests of the club and indicated he hoped a replacement would be appointed within two days.

“Decisions like this are never easy, you are affecting someone’s life and perhaps their career, but there comes a time where you know things aren’t going right,” he told BBC Radio Manchester.

“I think the decision had to be made. To give us the best chance of finishing in the play-offs this season, we needed to change manager.

“Nobody’s defended them more than I have but there comes a time where you think ‘will this come right by the end of the season’ and I thought no.

“We do have a name in the frame. I would think it would be announced tomorrow. I would hope so, we have a target in the frame, it’s just a case of crossing the t’s and dotting the I’s.”

Dunphy refused to comment on suggestions that former boss Keith Hill could be making a return but insisted he had given previous managers enough time.

“They [Coleman and Bell] got 12 months,” he said. “I don’t think I needed to give people longer, when you run a club, you don’t just run the club, you send out part of the community.

“There’s plenty names, there’s about 60 or 70 managers out of work but we do hope to nail something down in the next 24 or 48 hours.

“We haven’t left a lot of time for applicants but because of what’s gone on in the past, I wanted to make sure we had a candidate we wanted lined up in case we wanted to do this.”

Sources close to Coleman have said that while he is shocked, he accepts it’s part of the game and believes he has left a decent squad in place at the League Two club.

Image courtesy of Rochdale AFC, with thanks.

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