Smith keen to get back into management

NICKY Smith expects to return to management soon after quitting Ryman League Division One North side AFC Sudbury.

Smith, who was starting his fourth season in charge at Kings Marsh Stadium, left the club on Thursday in the wake of Sudbury’s 4-0 defeat at league leaders Grays Athletic the night before, which left Sudbury languishing in 17th place in the league with five points from six matches.

Smith said yesterday: “I went away on holiday and, by all accounts, we had done well while I was away. In the four matches since I returned - the two FA Cup ties againt St Ives and the league games against Harlow and Grays - I felt certain players let themselves down.

“I have been in the game long enough to know we were making the same elementary mistakes.

“I spoke to the chairman after Saturday’s game about my position because I felt we were not progressing how we should be. We were 1-0 up with 25 minutes to go against Harlow, who were down to ten men, and yet we lost.

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“I felt we had a great squad this year, but we were not performing and you sometimes have to take a step back and look at yourself.

“You sometimes feel it is best to move on, so I spoke to the chairman again on Thursday morning after the Grays game and said it was best for both sides if someone else takes over,” continued the 42-year-old.

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“I have nothing but admiration for the club - the facilities, the chairman and the board have been fantastic in my time at the club.

“Chris Tracey (Smith’s assistant manager) has been put in temporary charge and I hope he does well as he is Sudbury through and through and I know how much he would like to do the job permanently.

“Although three or four players are out I know the squad will do well and should rapidly move up the league.”

Smith, who said he he didn’t think people realised the amount of time involved in managing a club such as Sudbury, took over at a difficult time - the club had just moved over to the Zamaretto League (Southern League Midland Division) and it was a struggle to attract players because of the travelling involved.

Sudbury spent two seasons in the Zamaretto League, before moving back to the Ryman League last season, narrowly missing out on a place in the play-offs.

He explained: “I was expecting really good things from this season, so I would rather go now than leave it until Christmas.”

However, the former Colchester United midfielder said he expects to be back in management before too long.

“It is in my blood. I love football and I will go and watch games over the next couple of weeks and see what offers may come in. I hope I will return to management soon,” he added.

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