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Page last updated at 17:01 GMT, Saturday, 13 September 2008 18:01 UK

Manager Downing leaves Cheltenham

Keith Downing
Downing joined Cheltenham as John Ward's assistant in 2004

Keith Downing has left his job as manager of League One side Cheltenham Town by mutual consent.

The Robins are bottom of the division and were beaten 4-1 on Friday evening away at Hartlepool.

Downing, 43, was named as Cheltenham manager in November 2007 after a spell as caretaker boss following John Ward's move to Carlisle.

He had been number two at Whaddon Road since July 2004 when he left his post as Wolves reserves coach.

Downing, whose playing career included spells with Notts County, Wolves, Stoke and Hereford, won only 14 of his 49 games in charge as Cheltenham narrowly avoided relegation from League One last season.

Let us not forget Keith's massive achievement last season when he saved the club from what appeared to be certain relegation

Cheltenham chairman Paul Baker
Chairman Paul Baker told the club website: "Without question the club owes Keith a massive 'thank you' for the tremendous amount of hard work and dedication he has put in since his appointment - both as assistant to John Ward and as manager.

"It is difficult to put into words how much he has put into the job, no one could have worked harder, no one could have been more committed and no one could have asked for more.

"And let us not forget Keith's massive achievement last season when he saved the club from what appeared to be certain relegation with some inspired signings, gritty determination, hard work and great skill as a coach and tactician.

"Everyone at the club wishes Keith all the very best in his future career in football."

Downing said: "I'm disappointed, of course, but looking back over the five years I've been here, hopefully I've made a big contribution to the football club and I've been proud to be associated with its development.

"I took over as manager last October, the position wasn't good but we managed to survive.

"We are all aware of what the club's resources are and we work to them to the best of our abilities.

"I certainly put my heart and soul into it and the people who I've worked with me will know that. When I look back I will be proud of the achievements."

see also
Hartlepool 4-1 Cheltenham
12 Sep 08 |  League One
Cheltenham 1-2 Huddersfield
06 Sep 08 |  League One
Cheltenham 0-4 Leicester
30 Aug 08 |  League One
Downing still learning the ropes
19 Mar 08 |  Cheltenham
Cheltenham name Downing as boss
02 Nov 07 |  Cheltenham
Downing to deputise for boss Ward
17 Nov 06 |  Cheltenham

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