HYDE FC have sacked manager Scott McNiven, with Gary Lowe returning for a second spell in charge as his replacement.
McNiven – as well as his assistant John Hills and goalkeeping coach Rhys Day – were relieved of their duties on Friday in the wake of the 7-1 derby defeat to Stalybridge Celtic on New Year’s Day.
The appointment of Lowe and assistant manager Martyn Booty swiftly followed with the pair installed in time to take charge of Sunday’s Conference North match against Barrow at Ewen Fields.
Lowe and Booty guided the Tigers to the Conference North title in their one season in charge in 2011-12 with a club-record 90 points but resigned soon after.
Gary Lowe is back! Get down and support the lads on Sunday at home to Barrow, hopefully he brings a Barca style of play with him…
— Hyde United FC (@hydeunited) January 2, 2015
It was the second time he had taken over the managerial reins having successfully kept the Greater Manchester club in the sixth tier of English football at the end of 2010-11 whilst joint caretaker boss with Steve Halford.
Hyde sacking Scott McNiven was the right call. Wish Scott all the best, though. He's a sincere and nice bloke. Just didn't work out.
— Aaron Flanagan (@aaronflan) January 2, 2015
But with resources stretched and funds limited, McNiven’s job became difficult as the Tigers were relegated back to the Conference North last term after finishing bottom of the division, recording just one win and a record-low 10 points throughout the campaign.
It has been an uphill struggle this term too with results and a consistent run of form hard to come by – and after a run of three wins from the last 12 games – McNiven departs with the club nine points adrift at the bottom of the table.
Scott McNiven finally gone from Hyde FC. Shame it took a 7-1 local derby defeat to force somebody's hand.
— Iain Sykes (@iaincsykes) January 2, 2015
Lowe arrives having been out of management since his first spell at Hyde ended two and a half years ago but the 55-year-old had subsequently been linked with numerous jobs.
The Manchester-born coach was close to becoming manager of Conference Premier outfit Chester last January after Neil Young’s exit having expressed his interest in the post before it was filled by Steve Burr.
Great to see Gary Lowe is back at Ewen Fields, watched some great matches last time he was in charge when Hyde won the title.
— Away Chips (@AwayChips) January 2, 2015
He will be hoping to hit the ground running and restore confidence ahead of upcoming cup ties against North Ferriby United and Macclesfield Town, where victories would significantly boost the club’s finances.
After the heavy loss at Bower Fold in their last game, Hyde remain 11 points behind Tameside rivals Stalybridge, who currently sit directly above the relegation zone in 21st place.