Ian Dunn admits that his future as Pinchbeck United player/manager is far from certain after the departure of trusted number two Allan Ross this week.
Increased work commitments have put a strain on Ross’ ability to attend matches and training in recent weeks and, with the Knights struggling on the pitch too, he’s opted to walk away from his role.
Dunn, whose side are 19th out of the 20 teams in the Uhlsport UCL Premier Division, knows that replacing his assistant will be no small feat.
And he concedes that something has to change at the Sir Halley Stewart Playing Field-based team after a run of just two wins in 15 games in all competitions this season.
It’s a stark contrast to the Knights’ recent history, which had seen them promoted from the ChromaSport PDFL in 2017, win the UCL Division One title in 2018 and finish fourth in the UCL Premier Division last season.
“To be honest, all we’ve known at Pinchbeck United in the past few seasons is success,” said Dunn. “That’s what is making this season all the more difficult.
“That makes the lows that we’re now experiencing that much harder to swallow.
“That’s not the reason Allan has a walked away. He’s been struggling to make games and fixtures due to his job for a little while now.
“It’s hard for him – and I suppose the way this season is going hasn’t helped.
“Allan has been beyond fantastic for this club for a long period of time.
“It’s obviously a bitter blow to lose him, you can’t really explain how much influence he’s had on our success. I’ll be looking to replace him, but that’s a very difficult task.
“But, to be honest, I don’t really know where we are as a club at the moment.
“I can’t pretend that I’m happy with how things are going. We’ve got a young side that will give everything they’ve got, which is all you can ask of them. But we don’t seem to be improving.
“Teams have been footballing us to death and we’ve been making the same mistakes.
“I’ve spoken to the committee about things and they still want me to stay, but I’ll have to have a think about things – we can’t carry on like we are.”
This Saturday sees Pinchbeck host Oadby Town at the Sir Halley (3pm).
The Leicestershire side are just five points and three places above the Knights in the table, but Dunn knows that they play a brand of passing football that his team struggle to deal with.
He’s hoping that the winter weather will lead to an upturn in fortune for Pinchbeck in the coming months.
“Oadby are a good footballing side,” added the player/boss. “We’ve been ‘bopped’ off the pitch a few times in recent weeks.
“But, when the pitches turn, teams won’t be able to do that. We’ll see, hopefully a change in the conditions will give us a change of fortune.”
The Knights have no new injury concerns for the clash, which is followed by a Lincs Senior Cup quarter-final at home to rivals Deeping Rangers on Tuesday (7.45pm).