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Kittrick bitter over timing of Guiseley sacking
Sacked Guiseley boss Steve Kittrick last night revealed he turned down offers from two rival Conference clubs to stay loyal to the Nethermoor outfit during the summer.
The 55-year-old was told yesterday that his six-year tenure was over following the Lions’ mixed start to the season.
Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat to Brackley proved to be his final game in charge and skipper Mark Bower has been handed the reins on a caretaker basis.
Yet Kittrick believes that, if the club felt a change was necessary, they should have acted at the end of last season as he went on to snub opportunities at two rival clubs.
Kittrick said: “I was as disappointed as anybody after last season but why didn’t the club make this decision in the summer?
“I turned two jobs down in the summer to stay at Guiseley, both Conference clubs, and I’m disappointed with the way they have done it.
“There’s no easy way of doing it, though, and I want to thank everybody at Guiseley for all the support I’ve had during my time at the club.
“They’ve looked at it and thought ‘you haven’t achieved what we want you to achieve’ but I lost players and a lot of firepower through no fault of my own after better offers from other clubs.
“I lost my captain (Simon Ainge) and he wanted to come back to Guiseley but we couldn’t afford him because we’d had our budget cut. I think the signals were probably there without me seeing them.
“It makes you wonder ‘have I been set up for a fall?”
Kittrick said he would like to return to management, adding: “Football has been a massive part of my life.
“I’ve been in management for 30-odd years and never been sacked.
“I want to go and get another job and hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to manage again.”
Bower admits he would be open to the prospect of taking the Guiseley post on a permanent basis.
The former Bradford City defender will hold a meeting with his squad tonight ahead of this weekend’s trip to Boston.
That is followed by a home derby clash with Bradford Park Avenue next Tuesday and Bower knows a positive sequence of results could put him in the frame for the job with the Conference North outfit.
He said: “I’m looking forward to the opportunity I’ve been given and we’ll see what comes of it.
“My mobile has been ringing non-stop all day and I’ve quickly come to realise that a lot of the job is done on the phone, speaking to players and contacts in the game.
“I have my own work commitments with my business but I’m office-based and can do a lot of what needs to be done when I’m at work.”
Bower has taken the reins with immediate effect alongside assistant manager Chris Holland and therapist Martin Stringfellow.
He spoke to Kittrick yesterday and both men wished each other all the best.
Bower said: “Steve has done a lot for Guiseley over a long period and I thanked him for bringing me here.
“I wished him all the best and he did likewise with me, but I’m sure it won’t be long before he’s back in management somewhere.”
Guiseley failed to win promotion after falling at the final hurdle for the last three years.
Their start to the current campaign has seen them win just two of their opening six games and left them 13th in the table.
A club statement said: “In light of recent performances, Guiseley AFC have decided to part company with long-serving manager Steve Kittrick.
“Steve has brought a great deal of success in the past six years, guiding the club to the UniBond Challenge Cup and promotion to the Conference North before finishing in the play-off positions in each of the last three seasons.
“However, in the light of a disappointing end to last season and a difficult start to the current campaign, the club feels it has no choice but to move on.
“Mark Bower will step in as caretaker manager with immediate effect alongside assistant manager Chris Holland and therapist Martin Stringfellow.
“Mark will take charge of his first game away at Boston United on Saturday.”
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