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Rob Middleton speaks about his departure from United Counties League Division One club Bourne Town




Departed Bourne boss Rob Middleton felt a series of events which put an extra strain on his management tenure brought about the end of his reign at the United Counties League club.

The Wakes released a statement on Sunday afternoon that the Division One club had ‘parted ways’ with Middleton who had taken sole charge of the club last season following the departure of joint manager Leigh Porter.

However, Middleton insists he resigned from his role at the JJ Mac Stadium following Saturday’s 2-1 away defeat at Holwell Sports which was the Wakes’ fourth successive league loss.

Rob Middleton (15896690)
Rob Middleton (15896690)

He also felt a number of factors in recent weeks had hampered his hopes of turning around his side’s start to the season.

Middleton said: “There’s been a series of events that have put an extra strain on me.

“I’ve felt extra pressure that hasn’t made the role enjoyable.

“I was a little bit peeved to see that the club had put out a statement to say we had parted ways.

“It was best for both parties if we called it a day. It was all a bit cloak and dagger so I made the decision for them by resigning.”

Middleton had led the Wakes to a respectable 13th place finish last year, but his pre-season plans suffered a setback in the summer when star striker Zak Munton left to join league rivals Melton Town.

He added: “It’s fair to say we were in a mess on the pitch when I took over last season.

“I felt then that I had over-achieved to get Bourne a mid-table finish on a shoe-string budget.

“Pre-season didn’t go well with the vultures swooping for some of our players in a very short space of time.

“I didn’t see that happening but we continued to build and, although it would take time to settle down, the number of players who we signed had been good.

“There’s been quite a few things over a two-week period recently though where I’ve felt let down by the club.

“I felt a little bit on my own by Saturday’s game where again the result was decided by poor officiating.

“We had a blatant penalty turned down at 2-1 when their player nearly caught the ball on the goalline.

“We had another player sin-binned and then one sent off after the final whistle for refusing to shake the referee’s hand.

“I gave it 110 per cent like I always do because that’s the only way I know, but my relationship with the club was severely strained.

“The players all ran through brick walls for me on Saturday and anybody watching would have felt we should have got something from the game.

“But it’s time for me to take a little bit of a break. You have to work doubly hard at a club like Bourne without having a budget.

“If I take another job in football then the resources will have to be in place to be competitive.

“I have been overwhelmed by the messages from a hard core of Bourne players since I resigned though.

“I’ve asked them to continue with the club and I’m pretty sure Bourne will sort it out. The signs were already there, but it did need a little bit of time.”

The Wakes are next in action on Saturday when they host Premier Division neighbours Sleaford Town in the FA Vase.

Their club statement said: “Bourne Town has made the difficult decision to part ways with first team manager Robert Middleton.

“We would like thank ‘Middi’ for all he has done last season and the start of this and wish him all the best for the future.

"Bourne Town FC would now like to ask anybody with an interest in taking on the first team managers role to make their interest known to club secretary Tony Hull by e-mailing tonyhull2@hotmail.com."

They go into Saturday’s match without midfielder Andrew Moss who was sent off after the final whistle of Saturday’s defeat at Holwell for dissent.

Ian Bitmead had bagged a brace for previously-winless Holwell with substitute Florinel Stancu on target for the Wakes.



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