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Sunday, 17 February, 2002, 14:10 GMT
Cork resigns from Cardiff City
Cardiff owner Sam Hammam and director of football Lennie Lawrence
Lennie Lawrence (R) is expected to take over from Cork
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Alan Cork has resigned as Cardiff City manager, bringing an end to a rollercoaster 16 months in charge at Ninian Park.

The former Wimbledon player has come under increasing pressure in recent weeks due to the Welsh club's erratic form in their push for a second successive promotion.

Last season they came up from Division Three and, after heavy investment from owner Sam Hammam, they were expected to make a genuine bid to go straight through Division Two.

  Alan Cork factfile:
Oct 1997-June 1998: Brief spell as manager of Swansea City.
Sep 2000: Joins Cardiff as assistant manager.
Oct 2000: Succeeds Bobby Gould as manager.
May 2001: Cardiff promoted as Division Three runners-up.
June 2001: Breaks Cardiff transfer record, signing Graham Kavanagh from Stoke for 1m.
Sep 2001: Breaks Cardiff transfer record again, signing Peter Thorne from Stoke for 1.75m.
Jan 2001: Leads Cardiff to FA Cup win over then Premiership leaders Leeds. Result marred by crowd trouble.
Feb 2001: Resigns as Cardiff manager after dip in league form.
Cardiff record 2001/2:
P40 W17 L12 D11.
Cardiff record 2000/1: P40 W22 L10 D8.
*Record does not include FAW Premier Cup matches or friendlies.

The final straw was Saturday's 4-0 away defeat to struggling Wigan Athletic, who broke a five-game winless streak in spectacular fashion against an expensively assembled Cardiff side.

Speaking of the fans' reaction after Saturday's defeat, Cork had said: "Life's never comfortable in Cardiff because everyone wants to win every game, but you can't blame them."

Cork met with Hammam over the weekend to discuss his future, and BBC Sport Online understands that Cork then offered his resignation.

A statement from Cork confirming his decision is expected sometime on Monday.

The appointment last month of former Grimsby boss Lennie Lawrence as Cardiff's director of football, increased the pressure on Cork.

Lawrence has become increasingly involved in onfield tactics and it is likely that he will take over team affairs from Cork.

Cork was appointed Cardiff manager in October 2000, after former Wales and Wimbledon boss Bobby Gould moved upstairs as director of football.

Gould left his post with the club earlier this season, followed by Ian Atkins - who only lasted a few months - allowing Lawrence to step in. Atkins is now in charge at Oxford United.

Cardiff skipper Graham Kavanagh
Graham Kavanagh has proved a fine purchase

Ian Butterworth, who arrived at Ninian Park just after Cork took charge, is expected to continue as assistant manager.

Cork, who managed Swansea City for a brief period during the 1997/8 season, has spent big in enticing players such as Spencer Prior, Graham Kavanagh and Peter Thorne to Ninian Park during his reign.

The players' performances have at least proved that Cork has a good eye for quality, but it appears that perceived flaws in his tactical organisation may have proved insurmountable.

Cardiff, in 11th place in Division Two - five points off the play-off places - must now regroup for Tuesday night's home match against Bury.

Ex-Cardiff Supporters' Club secretary Tony Jefferies
"The initial reaction was not one of great surprise"
See also:

15 Feb 02 |  Eng Div 2
Wigan 4-0 Cardiff
11 Feb 02 |  Wimbledon
Dons fans' plea to Hammam
13 Jan 02 |  Cardiff City
FA warning to Cardiff
06 Jan 02 |  FA Cup
Cardiff stun Leeds
31 Dec 01 |  Wales
Lennie is the real deal
31 Dec 01 |  Cardiff City
Lawrence joins Cardiff
13 Sep 01 |  Cardiff City
Thorne joins Bluebirds
29 Jun 01 |  Cardiff City
City land 1m Kavanagh
16 Oct 00 |  Cardiff City
Cork takes Cardiff coaching reins
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