WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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ABERYSTWYTH Town have asked manager Matthew Bishop "to stand aside" with just four games remaining until the end of the regular season.

The Seasiders have had a disappointing campaign under Bishop, who was appointed manager in May 2016 following the departure of Ian Hughes, and currently languish in tenth place, just one point above the drop zone.

Bishop's assistant, Wayne Jones, will take charge of first team affairs and a statement from Park Avenue says this is "in the hope that a change of management will provide the impetus for an improvement of fortunes and continue the club’s proud boast of being only one of three teams to have been an ever present member of the Welsh Premier League since its inception in 1992".

”Season 2016/17 has proved to be extraordinarily difficult for the club with much of the board’s focus attributed to completion of the 3G pitch together with the difficulties created by the damage caused to the floodlights, which in turn have created several knock-on effects for the first team, including of course the need to play the first 11 games away from home," says chairman Tony Bates.

When the management team of Matthew Bishop and Wayne Jones was approached at the start of the season the board’s instruction was to create a virtually brand new team and to avoid relegation. By Christmas, thanks to further cash injection from the club, the team seemed to be on course not only to avoid relegation but to achieve the coveted top six position.

"Unfortunately, since that time the team’s performance has often been below par and as most of the team’s problems have been laid at Matthew’s feet it is unsurprising that he feels acute disappointment at the team’s apparent ability to commit football suicide. This was exemplified by their performance on Saturday against Airbus when for the first 35 minutes the team dominated the game, was 2-0 up and could have scored at least four goals, but then proceeded to lose its way by a number of individual errors which in turn appeared to demoralise the whole team with the inevitable result.

"I personally remain firmly of the view that Matthew can play an important role in the future development of the club but, on balance, I and the board consider that allowing his excellent assistant Wayne Jones to run the team over the forthcoming games will demonstrate to players, fans and sponsors the club’s determination to avoid relegation: once that is achieved we can regroup and put the lessons learned this season to good effect in the next."

Employed by the English FA as senior national coach developer, Penrhyncoch-based Bishop holds the Uefa Pro Licence and played for the Seasiders in their first two Welsh Premier seasons before moving to Bangor City, Conwy United and Rhayder Town, making a total of 61 appearances.

He went on to coach at Newport County, Port Talbot Town and Aldershot before becoming assistant manager at Hereford FC.