Plymouth sack Ian Foster as head coach after only three months

Ian Foster
Ian Foster was booed off after the defeat by Bristol City, his fifth in succession at home - Harry Trump/Getty Images

Plymouth Argyle have sacked head coach Ian Foster after taking drastic action to avoid relegation from the Championship.

Former England under-20s manager Foster’s future was plunged into serious doubt after an alarming run of eight defeats in the last 11 matches, including five in a row at home.

Chairman Simon Hallett said in a statement: “Ian was hired through a thorough and extensive recruitment process and his coaching credentials really stood out when making the appointment.

“But we have to balance long-term stability against short-term decisions, and we have given Ian as long as possible to see if results could improve. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case, and we feel now is the right time to make a change to give us the best chance of securing survival.

“The Green Army have been incredible in recent weeks, as ever, and we need you all now to continue that support as we embark on the final weeks of the campaign with Neil and Nance in charge. Together we can achieve what we set out to achieve at the start of the season.”

Argyle are only outside the bottom three by one point and Foster’s dismissal came after the home defeat by Bristol City on Easter Monday.

Appointed as the successor to Steven Schumacher, who joined Stoke City in December, Foster is the 17th managerial departure in the Championship this season (either to be sacked or leaving by mutual consent).

The 47-year-old departed his job as Steven Gerrard’s assistant at Al-Ettifaq, in the Saudi Arabian Pro League, to take the post at Argyle in January.

Supporters have turned significantly on Foster in recent weeks, and he faced chants for his dismissal after the home defeat by Bristol City.

In the 1-0 home defeat by Preston on March 16, Foster was targeted after his team failed to have an effort on target for the second of four successive goalless home matches.

With just six games to go, director of football Neil Dewsnip supported by first-team coach Kevin Nancekivell will take charge of the team for the remainder of the season, with Simon Ireland and Daryl Flahavan continuing in their respective roles.

Dewsnip was interim manager for four matches following Schumacher’s departure last year.

League One champions last season, Argyle returned to the Championship for the first time since 2010 last year. The club return to action on Friday evening with a trip to bottom club Rotherham United.