Leicester City sack manager Jonathan Morgan after pointless WSL start
The increasing ruthlessness of life in the top tier of English women’s football was emphasised again on Thursday as Jonathan Morgan left his post as manager of Leicester City and Emile Heskey took temporary charge.
Morgan led Leicester to promotion as Championship winners last season and signed a new contract in July but his team are bottom of the Women’s Super League without a point from eight games.
That dismal recent record dictates that last season’s Women’s LMA Championship manager of the year ended his seven-year Leicester tenure, with Michael Makoni, Morgan’s assistant, and the manager’s sister, Holly Morgan, the first-team coach, also departing.
Heskey, the former England striker turned Leicester’s head of women’s football development, will supervise training before Sunday’s meeting with Manchester United in the League Cup.
In a statement Leicester said they were “undertaking the process of appointing a new manager” and that “retention of WSL status is central to the club’s vision for the long-term development of women’s football in the city”.
Given that the team have scored only three times in the league and conceded 19 goals, remaining in the 12-club top flight will not be straightforward.
Morgan walked away with an amalgam of disappointment and pride. “This club has been part of mine and my family’s life from when my sister Holly joined as a young player,” he said. “To have taken Leicester from the Midlands Division One to a WSL club gives me nothing but pride.
“This season has been disappointing, with injuries contributing to a difficult start but we haven’t achieved the results we had hoped for. I wish the club, the staff and the players, the very best.”
Last week Birmingham, Leicester’s key relegation rivals, sacked Scott Booth and placed Darren Carter and Marcus Bignot in interim charge. Birmingham remain one point and one place ahead of Leicester, whom they face in the WSL on 19 December in their final league fixture before the Christmas break.
In mid-October mid-table Everton dismissed Willie Kirk, replacing him with the former Lyon head coach Jean-Luc Vasseur, and the Manchester City manager, Gareth Taylor, remains under pressure after his injury-hit side’s underwhelming start which has left City seventh on 10 points.