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Page last updated at 16:06 GMT, Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Northampton Town sack manager Ian Sampson

Ian Sampson
Sampson had drawn six and lost one of his last seven games in charge

Northampton Town have sacked manager Ian Sampson after 17 months in charge.

The Cobblers, who have failed to win in their last seven games and are 16th in League Two, have put first-team coach Malcolm Crosby in temporary charge.

Chairman David Cardoza told BBC Radio Northampton: "Our results and league position are not where they should be."

Sampson, 42, led Northampton to one of their most memorable victories by beating Liverpool on penalties in a Carling Cup tie in September.

He has a 17-year association with the Cobblers, arriving in 1994 as a central defender and going on to play 449 games with the club.

After retiring he became youth team coach, was promoted to first-team coach in 2006 and, following Stuart Gray's sacking in September 2009, became caretaker manager.

He took on the job permanently a month later and was handed a new three-year deal in March last year.

Despite challenging for a League Two play-off spot last season the current campaign has produced only nine league wins.

Highlights have included the heroics against Liverpool and a 6-2 win over Crewe, which was Sampson's last win in charge.

And while Northampton were winless in their last seven games, six of those results had been draws - before Tuesday's 3-2 defeat by Burton.

"The club must always come first but that doesn't make this decision any easier," added Cardoza.

"I, my fellow directors, the staff and supporters all wanted Ian to succeed.

"I really hoped Ian would prove a successful manager here, but I did not see enough signs that we were improving as a side.

"Ian had put together a decent squad, and in a way that made our league position all the more unacceptable, and we are at a crucial time of year.

"I wanted to make this change now to give us time to go through a detailed recruitment process and to give the new man time to assess the squad before the end of the season, to look at the budget for next season and have a full summer to recruit and make the changes they see fit.

"No-one is ruled in and no-one is ruled out as we begin our search for our next manager. I think this will be an attractive job.

"We were one of very few clubs in League One or League One to spend money in January and we have some talented players under contract for next season with plenty of scope for any additions to be made in the summer.

"This appointment will be one of the biggest decisions since I have been here, we need to get things as right on the field as we are off it."

Northampton striker Leon McKenzie added on Twitter: "I can't comment for obvious reasons but I thank Ian Sampson for bringing me to the club.

"And I wish him all the best for the future, he's a top man."

Highlights - Southend 1-1 Northampton

Watch Sampson's penultimate game in charge - a 1-1 draw at Southend

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see also
Northampton 2-3 Burton Albion
01 Mar 11 |  League Two
L'pool 2-2 Northampton (2-4 pens)
22 Sep 10 |  League Cup
Bulls loss would 'upset' Cardoza
12 Oct 10 |  Northampton
Cobblers boss Sampson signs deal
05 Mar 10 |  Northampton
Cardoza backs Sampson to succeed
29 Jan 10 |  Northampton
Seventeen years at Cobblers for Sampson
10 Dec 10 |  Northampton
Cobblers appoint Sampson as boss
05 Oct 09 |  Northampton
Northampton part with boss Gray
08 Sep 09 |  Northampton

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