Writing was on the wall for Luton boss

THE comments made by Mike Newell following their defeat at Hull on Tuesday were tantamount to a resignation letter.After being reprimanded by the board for comments he made about the chairman Bill Tomlin and his directors, and criticism made about assistant referee Amy Rayner, Newell was skating on thin ice as it was.

By Derek Davis

THE comments made by Mike Newell following their defeat at Hull on Tuesday were tantamount to a resignation letter.

After being reprimanded by the board for comments he made about the chairman Bill Tomlin and his directors, and criticism made about assistant referee Amy Rayner, Newell was skating on thin ice as it was.

He must have expected the reaction by the board and he was subsequently sacked yesterday after nearly three years at the Kenilworth Road club.


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The 42-year-old who like Jim Magilton, started his career at Liverpool reserves, had won a Premier League title as a player with Blackburn Rovers. He had taken Hartlepool to promotion from League Two after finishing second and then did even better at Luton by storming to the League One championship.

He consolidated their position in the division last year but could do nothing as Rowan Vine, Curtis Davis, Carlos Edwards, Steve Howard and Kevin Nicholls were sold from under him.

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Little wonder he admitted he had not spoken to his chairman since last summer.

As Luton look to be slipping out of the Championship again Newell offered this harsh appraisal following the 2-1 loss against Hull City, their fifth defeat in a row f

He said: “The reason we're in this position is because we've sold our best players.

“Where's the £9m gone? Give that to me and I'll get five experienced players in, I'll pay them fortunes and we'll get ourselves out of it. It takes three or four years to build a reputation as a decent manager and three months to lose that reputation. But if you take the four best players out of any team it will hurt them.”

After beating Luton 5-0 in October, even though they were reeling by the collapse on the team coach of skipper Sol Davis, Ipswich will have fancied all three points at Kenilworth Road tomorrow.

But this will be the fifth time they have had to face a club under new management and they have lost on the previous four occasions.

Peter Taylor was in charge of his first league game when Crystal Palace came to Portman Road and won 1-0; Tony Mowbray had been named West Brom's new boss and was in the stands as they walloped Town 5-1; Brian Laws was freshly installed as Sheffield Wednesday's new man when they won 2-0, also at Portman Road; while Simon Davey had been given the Barnsley job on a permanent basis when they won 1-0 at Oakwell.

It will be interesting to see how the Luton players react to Newell's sacking.

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