WIMBLEDON have begun the search for a new manager after cutting loose Terry Brown and Stuart Cash on Wednesday in the poignant aftermath to the 1-0 defeat to Torquay United the previous evening.
The Club’s Board decided to part ways with Brown and Cash, who had guided the Dons to the Football League in three promotions in four seasons, but who had struggled to make the adjustment with just 16 wins in 53 games in League Two on the back of a chronic-malfunctioning defence.
The outcome was inevitable given the team’s chaotic start to the new season with seven defeats in nine outings and Simon Bassey was named caretaker manager for Saturday’s trip to Wycombe Wanderers with the Dons hovering just one point above the bottom two teams with 39 games left to stay in League Two.
Applicants for the managerial vacancy must be in by September 25 so Bassey is likely to stay in charge of the team for at least the next two League games.
Time is of the essence, but so too is getting the next vital decision right to ensure that Wimbledon do not fritter away all the hard-won gains to get to the Football League.
Andy Scott, who led neighbouring Brentford to the League Two championship in 2008-09 and in so doing so was named BBC London “Manager of The Year”, was at Tuesday’s game and is the early favourite to take the Dons on the next step in their extraordinary climb from the Combined Counties League.
Former Don Steve Cotterill, Dons’ legend Lawrie Sanchez and ex-Watford manager Sean Dyche have also been mentioned, but the Wimbledon vacancy is expected to entice some experienced Football League men to apply.Wimbledon are more desirable (despite the recent run of results) than when Brown and Cash were given the job back in the Ryman Premier League days five years ago.
Wimbledon badly need a hardened Football League manager to get the best out of a squad shockingly down on confidence and belief. There are still plenty of games left to resurrect the Dons’ season, but the Club is at a low ebb and must get down to hard work on the training pitch to turn fortunes around.
In the meantime there is a sadness that Terry Brown’s time is over at Kingsmeadow. An immensely decent man, who recently celebrated his 60th birthday and was in tears as he said his good-byes to the Dons’ fans inside the ground on Tuesday.
Club chairman Erik Samuelson spoke of a “a terribly sad moment for all of us” in announcing Terry Brown’s departure. But it was the right call, at hopefully the right time, if the incoming manager is to have the best chance of rescuing the Club from looming relegation.
Terry Brown conceded that it was time to step away and give someone else a chance to take the Dons forward.
“I really feel as a manager that you have a time span at a club, unless you are someone like Sir Alex Ferguson or Arsene Wenger, and can continually be successful. There comes a point when it is time to move on and maybe a club needs someone else. I may have a heavy heart at the moment, but I will be at Wycombe on Saturday supporting the boys,” Brown said.
There will be varied opinions about Terry Brown’s last couple of seasons at the Club, but foremost his work in getting the Dons to the Football League should and will not be forgotten.
He will rightfully take his place as a Dons’ legend alongside other managers, Allen Batsford, Dave Bassett and Bobby Gould.
So who do you believe should be the next manager of Wimbledon?
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