Craig Nisbet has been left ‘bemused’ by the timing of the decision to relieve him of his duties as Preston Athletic manager despite the club being consigned to a bottom-place finish in this season’s Lowland League.
The Panners – currently on a nine-game losing streak – have tasted victory just four times in the league this term and haven’t won since the 3-2 victory at Dalbeattie Star in December.
Preston’s future and possible relegation to the East of Scotland League is still to be determined as they now face an anxious wait for the outcome of league champions East Kilbride’s pyramid promotion play-off matches next month. Nisbet, who played for the Pennypit outfit for five seasons from 2000-2005 before being appointed manager in December 2015, won’t be there to oversee the recovery. His No,2 James Maloney has also left the club with immediate effect.
“James and I are both slightly bemused by the timing of the decision with two league games and a League Cup fixture still to play but we respect the decision,” Nisbet said. “We both believed we were going to get the opportunity to get the club back into the Lowland League [should Preston be relegated] with an improved budget which would have made us competitive at the right end of the East of Scotland League. Unfortunately, we won’t get this chance and someone else will prosper without having to face the difficulties we had. I would like to place on record my thanks to Preston Athletic for the opportunity to manage a club that I have great affinity for. James and I gave everything to try to improve the playing staff and results, however, we were severely hamstrung financially and had to try and get the best out of the squad we had. We to wish the club the very best of luck and would like to thank the various people who have sent messages of support, particularly our peers in the footballing community.”