(Picture: Action Images via Reuters)
League Two strugglers Hartlepool United have parted company with manager Dave Jones after the club slumped into the relegation zone at the weekend.
Since taking the job at Victoria Park in January, Jones, 60, has seen his side pick up just 13 points from a possible 51 and Pools are now in great danger of dropping into the National League.
Saturday’s defeat 2-0 defeat at home to Barnet extended their winless run to seven games, and they now find themselves two points off Newport with two games remaining.
Assistant Managers Alex Armstrong and Kevin Cooper have also left the club, and a brief statement on Hartlepool’s official website said: “The Club would like to place on record its thanks to Jones, Armstrong and Cooper for their efforts and wish them every success in the future.”
The decision to end Jones’ stay at Pools by mutual consent came just 48 hours after Sky Sports presenter and club president Jeff Stelling said, while on live TV, that the former Wolves and Cardiff boss should leave immediately.
Stelling, hosting Soccer Saturday, told viewers: “This isn’t personal to Dave Jones but for the good of the club, walk now.
“[Director] Pam Duxbury, chairman Gary Coxall, if it means sacking him, do so.
“If it means me retiring or resigning as club president I do so happily. Do it now, do it today.”
Hartlepool defender Matthew Bates will take temporary charge of first-team affairs for the final two games of the season, starting with Saturday’s crucial trip to Cheltenham, with striker Billy Paynter and coaches Stuart Parnaby and Ian Gallagher working as his assistants.