Ian Baraclough: Motherwell part with manager after nine months

Motherwell have parted company with manager Ian Baraclough, the Scotttish Premiership club have announced.

Baraclough, 44, took charge in December and helped the Steelmen avoid relegation in last season's play-offs.

However, they have taken just seven points out of 24 so far in this season's league campaign.

And Well were beaten 3-2 after extra-time by Championship side Greenock Morton in Tuesday's League Cup third-round tie.

In a statement on the club website, Motherwell said: "The board of directors would like to sincerely thank Ian for his great efforts last season and keeping the club in the SPFL Premiership for this very important season in the club history, with the 130th anniversary and the 25th anniversary of the 1991 Scottish Cup celebrated at the end of the season.

"The board will immediately commence the search for a new manager.

Baraclough's final game in charge of Well was Tuesday's 3-2 defeat at Cappielow
Baraclough's final game in charge of Motherwell was Tuesday's 3-2 defeat at Cappielow

"In the interim, current Under-20s boss Stephen Craigan, along with Stephen Robinson and Jim Hollman, will handle first-team affairs."

The Fir Park side started last season with Stuart McCall in charge but he left after a sequence of losses early in the campaign.

His assistant Kenny Black briefly took charge before Baraclough was appointed in mid-December.

Motherwell struggled to get away from the relegation zone as season 2014-15 progressed and ultimately finished second bottom of the top flight.

That put them in a play-off against Championship side Rangers and Baraclough's team secured a 6-1 aggregate win to preserve their Premiership status.

The Steelmen opened this season's campaign with victory at Inverness Caledonian Thistle but results soon dipped and pressure began to mount on former Scunthorpe United and Sligo Rovers boss Baraclough.

The Englishman also played for Scunthorpe with Notts County, Queen's Park Rangers and Leicester City among his other previous clubs.