League Two strugglers Rochdale sack boss Bentley

2 months ago 36
Jim Bentley won seven of his 36 games in charge of Rochdale in all competitions, losing 20Jim Bentley won seven of his 36 games in charge of Rochdale in all competitions, losing 20

League Two's bottom side Rochdale have parted company with manager Jim Bentley seven months after his appointment.

Jim McNulty will take over as manager until the end of the season with assistant Nick Chadwick also leaving.

The 46-year-old replaced Robbie Stockdale after the club lost their first four league games of the season.

Under his tenure, Dale have won just six out of 32 league games and are 10 points adrift of 22nd-placed Crawley with eight games left.

"We would like to place on record our thanks to Jim and Nick, and wish them every success in the future," a club statement said.external-link

Saturday's 2-0 defeat away at Crawley was their 24th league loss of the season and plunged the club closer to relegation from the English Football League.

Dale have lost more games in League Two this term than any other team in English football's fourth tier.

Only two years ago, Dale were playing in League One and after relegation in 2020-21, the club finished in 18th place last term in their first campaign back in League Two having been promoted in 2013-14.

Following Stockdale's departure, the club continued to struggle for form and only registered their first league victory in late September when they beat Colchester.

They went on to pull together a run of three wins from four games along with beating Liverpool Under-21s in the Papa Johns Trophy but then won just twice in all competitions between October and their win against Stevenage earlier this month.

Analysis - 'The news seemed inevitable'

BBC Radio Manchester's Robin Grey

Saturday's defeat at Crawley was seemingly the final nail in the coffin for Dale. 10 points from safety with eight games remaining, after just two wins from twenty one games, this news seemed inevitable.

Chairman Simon Gauge blamed last summer's recruitment for the position they find themselves in, that was under previous manager Robbie Stockdale.

But Bentley's January signings haven't done enough to change results. Danny Lloyd and Toby Mullarkey have given them some life but the team have shown this ability to self destruct all season, conceding early goals and failing to hold onto leads.

Just three weeks ago, the 2-0 win over high-flying Stevenage gave the feeling things might have been about to change, but their bad habits have returned since then.

Jim McNulty's already been in caretaker charge this season - if he can save them from relegation, it would go down as one of the greatest escapes in footballing history.

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