AFC Bridgnorth have parted company with boss Dave Downing - after one friendly game.
The surprise decision was made on Tuesday following talks between chairman Mark Weale and Downing according to the Bridgnorth Journal.
Downing had joined the club at the end of last season after Steve Groome stepped down to take up his former role as secretary, and saw them go down 2-1 to Tividale in their first pre-season game last Saturday.
Jason Pike will now take on a player/manger role at Crown Meadow with former Bridgnorth player Steve Broome as his assistant.
“The chairman and Dave spoke on Tuesday,” said secretary Groome.
“Dave’s ideas and our ideas weren’t aligned and things weren’t going great in pre-season training.
“It’s not ideal parting company with a manager during pre-season but it would have been worse if we were four games in and had lost half-a-dozen players because they are not happy.
“We felt we had to act quickly.”
Downing and his coaching staff of Jacob Webster and Joe Wells were left stunned by the decision.
“We are shocked, disappointed and confused,” said Downing.
“We had brought players in and revitalised the playing staff and we all felt good after Saturday’s performance against Tividale.
“But there appears to be a culture there that is difficult to break. But that’s football and we move on.
“I thank the club for the opportunity and wish them all the best.”
Pike will take charge for the first time on Saturday when Bridgnorth host Market Drayton (2pm).
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