John Askey: Shrewsbury Town sack manager after five months in charge

John Askey won just four of his 17 league games as Shrewsbury Town manager
John Askey won just four of his 17 league games as Shrewsbury Town manager

League One strugglers Shrewsbury Town have sacked manager John Askey.

The 54-year-old had been in charge of the Shropshire side since leaving Macclesfield Town in June when his predecessor Paul Hurst joined Ipswich.

Askey led Macclesfield to last season's National League title but was unable to replicate that success with Shrewsbury.

The club won just four of his 17 league games in charge - and were booed off after Sunday's FA Cup first-round draw at home to non-league Salford City.

Askey's assistant John Filan and first-team coach George Pilkington have also left the club.

Goalkeeping coach Danny Coyne will be in caretaker charge for Tuesday's Checkatrade Trophy trip to Crewe, which will be followed by Saturday's home league game against Rochdale, then the FA Cup replay at Salford.

"It's always difficult when you have to part ways with a manager," said Town chief executive Brian Caldwell. "This is a guy with a family, who has worked really hard.

"We've been monitoring it very closely over the past few weeks. Some of the things I've seen on social media will have been horrible for John to see.

"It was a hard act to follow. He seemed a really good fit for the club but, unfortunately, it hasn't worked out."

Askey is the third English Football League managerial sacking inside 24 hours following Neal Ardley's departure from fellow League One side AFC Wimbledon and Phil Brown's dismissal by League Two side Swindon Town.

Swindon are reported to be already close to making an appointment, having lined up former Shrewsbury midfielder Richie Wellens, who left after one season in charge at Oldham Athletic in June after just failing to keep them in League One.

Who will get Askey's job?

Askey could now potentially be replaced by Hurst, following his own sacking as Ipswich boss on 25 October.

Hurst twice led Shrewsbury to Wembley last season, losing to Lincoln City in the Checkatrade Trophy final and Rotherham United in the play-off final.

Rumours were already rife of Hurst's imminent departure for Ipswich - and he duly left for Suffolk just days later.

"We want to appoint as quickly as possible," added Caldwell. "We just want to make sure we get the right person. You have to be open to anything."

Bookmakers currently have former Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer, who left Bloomfield Road in August, as a short-priced favourite.

Meanwhile, Askey could yet also find himself in the running to return to his old job.

Macclesfield, who are bottom of the EFL, after winning just once in 17 games, are yet to make an appointment following the sacking of his replacement Mark Yates, on 8 October.

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FA Cup: Shrewsbury Town 1-1 Salford City highlights

Analysis

BBC Shropshire's Nick Southall

John Askey admitted that his job was on the line before Town's last league game at Wimbledon, and despite coming from behind to win, his job remained in the balance.

A draw against a very strong non-league side in the cup was the last straw for some supporters, whereas others felt he deserved a bit longer to turn the tide.

But the manager's future has been a talking point at the highest level of the club for a few weeks now and the FA Cup draw proved the deciding factor.

He inherited a squad that narrowly missed out on promotion to the Championship in May, but in reality he had a big rebuilding job to replace last season's stars - Jon Nolan, Dean Henderson, Toto Nsiala, Alex Rodman, Stefan Payne, Ben Godfrey and Carlton Morris.

The timing of his appointment and the consequences of several high-profile departures in the transfer window with just days to go all made Askey's job even harder to emulate the club's success under Paul Hurst, who is now an obvious contender to return to the club he had success with.

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