Luton Town replace Richard Money with Gary Brabin

Richard Money

Money guided Luton to second in the Blue Square Bet Premier last season

Luton Town boss Richard Money has left the club by mutual consent and has been replaced by his assistant Gary Brabin, who takes over until the summer.

Money, who became Hatters manager in October 2009, leaves the club third in the Blue Square Bet Premier, 15 points adrift of the automatic promotion spot.

His last game in charge was Saturday's 2-1 defeat at 19th-placed Southport .

"It is with a heavy heart that I pass on the baton so close to the end of the season," Money told the club website.

"But I have every faith that such a capable and enthusiastic person is in place to give the team and supporters a fresh impetus.

"After Saturday's defeat at Southport, Gary Sweet [Luton managing director] and I met to discuss what we both felt was an unsatisfactory display.

"We both came to the conclusion that promotion must be the only target for the club in its current position and decided that we needed to do whatever we felt necessary to make it happen."

Sweet added: "Unfortunately, not many will see the true work that Richard has undertaken and full impact he has made within the constraints we face as a club.

These are exceptional circumstances that carry the highest expectation - a situation no manager has ever found himself in

Gary Sweet Luton Town managing director

"These are exceptional circumstances that carry the highest expectation - a situation no manager has ever found himself in.

"On a personal level the board know what Richard has achieved and we all have expressed our sincere and heartfelt appreciation to him."

Money, a former Luton defender, succeeded Mick Harford at Kenilworth Road six months after the club was relegated from League Two.

At times his relationship with Hatters supporters has been strained  , and in August the ex-Walsall and Scunthorpe manager apologised for confronting fans  for what he deemed "unacceptable" criticism of defender Pavel Besta.

Brabin will now step into the hot seat for Tuesday's visit of Barrow , with 10 games left to make sure his side retain their place in the play-offs.

The former Hull and Blackpool midfielder arrived at Kenilworth Road alongside Money, six months after leading Cambridge United to a Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final defeat by Torquay.

He was assisted by player-coach Paul Carden at Cambridge, who is still officially assistant boss at the Abbey, but is currently on loan at Luton.

"Gary's credentials are there for all to see," said Sweet.

"He has worked with the players for over a year, knows the club and knows the task in hand.

"We need everyone to step up to the plate - players staff and supporters - because we all know what is at stake.

"We have a run-in that will be used to firstly secure the minimum of a play-off place, and then prepare for those head-to-head games."