Ian Little sacked as Berwick Rangers manager

Berwick Rangers manager Ian Little has been sacked after just over two years in charge at Shielfield Park.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 12th January 2014, 4:22 pm
Ian Little has been dismissed following a bad run of results
Ian Little has been dismissed following a bad run of results

Saturday’s 4-1 home defeat by Annan Athletic proved to be the 40-year-old’s last.

The club announced on Sunday that they have “parted company” with Little, whose team have recorded only two wins in eight games.

Despite playing some attractive football at times, Little’s team have lacked a killer instinct this season. Inconsistent results leave Berwick in eighth place, eight points behind fourth-placed Clyde.

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Chairman Brian Porteous said: “The board felt that they needed to act given that we are third bottom in Division Two and getting further adrift from a play off position.

“We have not been able to get any consistency and feel that we should at least be in the top four and simply need to move forward quickly before it is too late. We will be making a further announcement very soon.”

It is understood that the Board of Directors will hold a meeting on Monday to discuss the situation and a statement is expected thereafter.

Little joined Berwick as a player in 2004 after spells with Livingston, Stenhousemuir and Alloa. He became assistant manager and continued to play under Jimmy Crease before taking over as manager when Crease resigned in October 2011.

He guided the team to the promotion play-offs last season, but Berwick’s league form has not been good enough this season.

The board had been prepared to spend money on new players during the January transfer window, but told Little a play-off place at the end of the season was the minimum requirement.

But one point out of a possible nine in their last three games, including two home defeats, proved to be the final straw.

It is understood that assistant manager Robbie Horn will take over on an interim basis.

He informed the players of the decision on Sunday and later revealed that Gary O’Connor, the club’s goalkeeping coach, and a friend of Little, had subsequently decided to leave.

The former Vale of Leithen manager is believed to be keen on landing the job permanently, but Berwick will cast the net widely before making a decision.

Among the names already being banded about as potential candidates are former Scotland and Hearts midfielder Colin Cameron, who parted company with Cowdenbeath in November. He scored as a trialist for Burntisland Shipyard against Hawick Royal Albert on Saturday.

Neil Oliver, who lives in Berwick and played for Berwick Rangers, Blackburn Rovers, Falkirk, Clydebank and East Fife during his playing career, will inevitably be linked with the post.

He is without a job after parting company with Duns earlier this season, but was spotted at Home Park on Saturday taking in the Coldstream match on Saturday. The Streamers are also looking for a new manager.

There will be no shortage of interest in the Berwick vacancy. Former England midfielder Colin Todd applied for the job when Little got it two years ago.