Ripon City manager Steve Donoghue has announced he will leave the club at the end of the season after failing to save them from relegation.
Ripon’s drop into Division One was confirmed last week after a 3-2 defeat to local rivals Boroughbridge followed by a 4-2 loss at East End Park confirmed they would finish in the bottom two.
Donoguhe explained he made the decision to leave the club after Thursday’s derby clash, believing that the club need a ‘clean slate’ as they prepare for life in Division One.
Ripon’s final Premier League game on Saturday at home to Oxenhope will be Donoghue’s last in charge and he apologised for not keeping the club in the division.
He said: “I knew it would be difficult going into the job. It’s tough to find players half way through the season and I have been a bit unlucky that some players have been injured for so long.
“I said that we have had such a bad season from start to finish in terms of results that I think we need to draw a line under it and Ripon need a clean slate. If I stay on I’m still part of that poor season.
“I thought I could have kept them up. We could have played better at times and other times it was naivety but I will leave on Saturday with no bad feelings and the club can start planning for next season.”
Donoghue took charge of Ripon in November from former manager Alistair Hogg with the club bottom of the Premier Division with just four points from 12 games.
Despite beating East End Park in his first match, Donoghue was only able to pick up one more win and four draws during his stint with the club now bottom of the league.
However, while Ripon only managed to pick up 10 points from Donoghue’s 17 games in charge, performances did improve. His side scored 22 goals and conceded 45 goals during this time while Hogg’s side conceded 56 and scored 18 under his management.
Donoghue said that he believed the club would bounce straight back up from Division One and stressed that he had no regrets taking the job.
He said: “The people in charge have got ambition to develop the club but they need to draw a line under this year but my face will be associated with this bad season but I don’t regret taking the jon.
“Right at the start I knew it was going to be tough but I have really enjoyed my time here and the club have been very supportive of me.
“I’m just sorry because I really hoped that I could have kept them up.
“I think they will bounce straight back because of the number of young players they have got. If they can get them playing well they will be fine.”