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Thursday, December 27, 2012
Blackburn axe Berg after 57 days as boss

Richard Jolly, ESPN staff

Blackburn Rovers have sacked manager Henning Berg and three of his coaching staff in a dramatic reaction to the club's slide down the Championship table.

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The Norwegian, who was only appointed in October, won just one of his 10 games in a 57-day spell in charge.

Berg, a Premier League title-winner with Rovers in 1995 and their League Cup-winning captain in 2002, was brought back to the club and charged with winning promotion to the Premier League this season.

And after Blackburn made a slow start under the former Lyn Oslo and Lillestrom manager, he was then given a target of being in the play-off places by New Year's Day.

Instead, Boxing Day's 1-0 defeat to Middlesbrough leaves Rovers in 17th place, having taken only six points from a possible 30 under Berg.

Berg, 43, dropped captain Paul Robinson for his last two games in a bid to change Blackburn's fortunes but bowed out having only taken one point from his last six games.

Assistant manager Eric Black, first team coach Iain Brunskill and goalkeeping coach Bobby Mimms have all left Ewood Park as well.

Black, who was caretaker manager before Berg's appointment in October, was brought to the club by former manager Steve Kean.

In a statement, Rovers said: "This decision has been taken following a very disappointing sequence of results. The club thanks the four men for their efforts and wishes them every success for the future."

Now Blackburn are looking for a fourth manager of the season, after Kean, Black and Berg, with a board meeting scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

Balaji Rao, director of Rovers' much-maligned owners Venky's, was quoted in The Times of India as saying: "We have not been doing well and dropping points and losing matches quite often. I want to go up.''

In a statement released through the League Managers' Association, Berg claimed he was confident he could have led Rovers back towards the play-off positions had he been given the chance.

He said: "It goes without saying that I am bitterly disappointed to have been relieved of my managerial duties at Ewood Park after just 57 days since my appointment.

"At this stage I would just like to release a short statement thanking the Blackburn Rovers fans for their incredible support during my time in charge.

"I have always enjoyed a fantastic relationship with them dating back to my playing days where we shared some great memories.

"It was an honour for me to manage a club that is so close to my heart and I now wish all of them every success for the rest of the season and beyond.

"I would also like to thank the players and staff for their support and commitment in this short period. They have all done their best and unfortunately the results in these 10 games have not reflected their performances.

"I wish the club all the best in the future, and am sure that with a few additions in the January transfer window, they will have a good chance of getting a play-off place."

Blackburn are yet to confirm who is in temporary charge until a new manager is installed.




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