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Dover Athletic chairman Jim Parmenter explains the exit of sacked manager Mitch Brundle as Jake Leberl and Mike Sandmann take charge at Crabble

Chairman Jim Parmenter concedes it was obvious struggling Dover “were not going in the right direction” after he sacked manager Mitch Brundle.

Brundle left the second-bottom National League South outfit on Tuesday after Saturday’s 4-3 loss at basement boys Havant & Waterlooville extended their winless league run to 19 games.

Mitch Brundle – has been sacked as Dover manager, swiftly being replaced at the helm by Jake Leberl and Mike Sandmann. Picture: Steve Terrell
Mitch Brundle – has been sacked as Dover manager, swiftly being replaced at the helm by Jake Leberl and Mike Sandmann. Picture: Steve Terrell

With Whites having drawn nine of their 21 league matches, Mr Parmenter had seen positive signs - despite not finding that elusive league victory - until recent matches.

He said: “I always say I will try to judge on performances, as well as results. A lot of our performances in those games were actually quite good this season.

“But the last few performances were not really up to the ones before and it was obvious that we were not going in the right direction.”

Dover haven’t won in the league since a 2-1 success at Slough in August.

They last kept a league clean sheet in April and haven’t won in National League South at Crabble since February 28.

Dover chairman Jim Parmenter. Picture: Barry Goodwin
Dover chairman Jim Parmenter. Picture: Barry Goodwin

While he accepts it’s not the sole factor, Mr Parmenter thinks key decisions made by the officials in recent matches have gone against Whites.

“We, as a club, have been unlucky in three or four games with refereeing decisions,” he said. “We had a good goal disallowed the other week.

“Referees can kick their feet up after games - but for managers it’s their jobs on the line.

“I’m not saying that’s the only factor but Mitch has been unlucky with a few decisions.”

On dismissing the former Gateshead, Barnet and Dagenham & Redbridge midfielder, he said: “You could argue it should have been done a little bit earlier. But you have to have your ducks in a row.

“Everybody deserves the best chance they can get - it’s not an exact science. You just have to make the call when you think it’s best.”

Brundle had become Whites manager on a permanent basis in January, overseeing nearly 50 matches in his time in charge, which included eight wins.

“I’m not known for sacking managers, as you can probably see by the statistics,” added Mr Parmenter, who wasted no time in appointing Brundle’s successor with Whites announcing a new management team of Jake Leberl and Mike Sandmann.

“Neither Jake nor Mike need any introduction to supporters and they bring with them enormous combined knowledge and experience,” said Mr Parmenter.

“They begin their task with immediate effect and further changes, and additions, will be announced in due course.

“Our supporters will be invaluable as we begin the huge challenge in front of us and I urge everyone to get behind the team as our 12th man.”

Brundle had only started working with then-returning assistant Leberl last month but, since his comeback, they have suffered successive defeats.

“You cannot really put that down to Jake,” Mr Parmenter suggested. “He’s only a week into the job. He’s not picking the team.

“He only had one or two training sessions so you cannot really put that at Jake’s feet.”

Dover are 10 points from safety and will aim to start reeling in fifth-bottom Truro when they visit them this Saturday.

But on their survival prospects, with plenty of the season left, Mr Parmenter said: “It’s been done many times before.

“Clearly, the squad needs strengthening. That’s, obviously, a conversation I will be having as soon as possible.

“Money is tight but there are opportunities to change things around. We will do what we can to support whatever the new manager wants to do.”

Ironically, Havant themselves sacked ex-Dartford manager Steve King ahead of their win over Whites, which came despite James Dunne’s double and a goal from midfielder George Wilkinson.

But Mr Parmenter said: “Havant has a very good budget and a lot of good players.

“Clearly, they were not playing well for the manager but I’d expect them to finish in higher mid-table. They have got the players to do that and the finances to do that.

“We probably need some signings and will go to Truro trying to get the win.

“We have some injuries that will not help us but we will try to push forward.”

Teenager Paris Lock has left Dover and returned to parent club AFC Wimbledon.

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