Lancaster City boss Phil Brown admitted he ‘did not see it coming’ as the team’s wretched start to the new season ultimately cost him his job.
The Dolly Blues manager resigned from his position on Saturday evening after his men were bundled out of the FA Cup by Trafford.
The 2-0 defeat to the First Division West outfit in the first round of qualifying was the final straw for Brown, who had watched his team pick up just one point from their opening six league games.
It was all a far cry from the eve of the new campaign with the City boss brimming with optimism forthe year ahead.
Unfortunately, the opening game ended in a 4-0 defeat at Matlock Town and they went on to lose their next four games.
A 1-1 draw at home to Bamber Bridge provided some relief, but after exiting the cup, Brown felt it was time for somebody else to have a go.
“I had high hopes for this season,” he said. “Last season was a massive learning curve.
“I thought we were better for it and would use that experience from last year and be better, but it was not to be.
“There were certain thing which happened which were out of my control. We did not have a good pre-season.
“But there were things which were in my control and it has not work out.
“You live and die by results and they haven’t been good enough.
“I’m big enough to take it on the chin. I am a little bit at a loss as to why things haven’t worked out.
“Unfortunately the team did not perform to its potential.
“As a manager, I have got to take responsibility.
“I did not see it coming, I’ll be honest.
“Every game we lost just brought added pressure to it.
“I thought we played reasonably well against Bamber Bridge.
“It was a decent performance to get a point.
“But against Trafford, it just looked beyond us.
“It was disappointing performance. We had plenty of the ball. We just could not impose ourselves.
“I knew then that it was time for somebody else to come in and have a go.”
Despite the events of the past few weeks, Brown insisted that he leaves with his head held high.
He guided the club to promotion in 2017 and consolidated its position in the NPL Premier Division this year.
“I know some people will look at the league table as it stands but if you look at the bigger picture, we have got to be pleased,” said Brown.
“When I came in the team was in 16th spot and we ended up finishing sixth.
“Then in my first full season, we won the league.
“I think it was 21 years since the club had won anything.
“The club is punching above its weight.
“There’s a lot of things missing in terms of infrastructure which goes towards supporting the team on a Saturday or Tuesday.
“It’s a really good club but it doesn’t have the resources of other clubs.
“I am not just talking about finances; it doesn’t have as many volunteers; it just needs a bit more support.”
Although he is looking to take a breather from the game, Brown said he was still open to a return to management when the right opportunity comes along.