Caretaker manager Ferguson leaves Blackpool

Barry Ferguson has announced his decision to leave Blackpool, with his contract as caretaker player-manager expiring at the end of the season.

The former Scotland international took control of the club on a temporary basis in January, following the dismissal of Paul Ince after a run of poor form saw the Seasiders slide toward the bottom of the Championship table. Although Ferguson only led his team to three victories out of his 20 games in charge, he managed to keep Blackpool in the second division - avoiding relegation by two points.

And now, the 36-year old has decided to leave Bloomfield Road, to either continue his playing career - or to focus on full-time management at a different club.

Reportedly, as stated by the BBC, Ferguson and club chairman Karl Oyston did not see eye to eye, with the former warned that he had to decide on whether management or playing was more important to him. As Ferguson is poised to have ankle surgery this summer, he has already stated that if he intends to play on, 'it probably won't be at Blackpool'.

Although Oyston and Ferguson had a strained relationship, the chairman praised the outgoing boss in a interview on the official club website.

"Fortunately we're still a Championship club and you could say it's luck, but I think Barry and his team did very well to keep us in The Championship. They were arguably dealt a boorish hand so it was touch and go, but I'm pleased we're still in The Championship because that gives us a good base to build from."

Oyston also laid down the credentials he is searching for in a new manager, with the need for a full-time boss imperative.

"I think we need to make sure that whoever we get comes in and brings a fresh approach, style and emphasis. We're now lucky that we've got more opportunities to bring youth players through because we've got a good youth setup that's going really well. It would be a shame if we allowed a manager to come in that didn't take advantage of that and work and encourage the youth, and actually give them a chance in the team whenever we can."

The news of Ferguson's departure comes just one day after Scottish Premiership club Dundee United refused permission for Oyston to speak to former Scotland international Jackie McNamara concerning the availability of his services for the now vacant role.

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