The South Coast Wolves have agreed to part ways with coach Richard Lloyd after a lacklustre start to 2014.
The former NSL champions are bottom of the NSW National Premier League ladder after six rounds and have secured just one competition point so far this campaign.
There had been signs of improvement in recent weeks, but the club took a huge backward step on Saturday night with a 5-1 loss to Sydney United.
Management took immediate action after the defeat and agreed it was best to move the club in a new direction.
‘‘We spoke about it with the coach throughout the year about what the expectations are. It didn’t look like we were meeting those expectations in the current state we were going in,’’ South Coast Wolves president Bobby Mazevski said.
‘‘After discussing with the coach we decided it was time for a change. It was mutual, it was respected and we agreed to part ways that way.’’
Lloyd had spent time coaching in the Wolves lower grades before taking over from the Trevor Morgan in late 2012.
South Coast finished last on the ladder in Lloyd’s first full season in charge in 2013 and narrowly avoided relegation from the top division.
It was hoped after an early start to pre-season last year’s on-field performance would turn around in the gaffer’s second season at the helm but those ambitions were dealt a body blow in the Wolves’ first round 5-0 loss to Blacktown City.
Following the match, they secured just one point in a 1-1 home draw with Sydney Olympic at WIN Stadium before Saturday’s capitulation in Sydney.
Lloyd was unavailable for comment on the decision.
‘‘We have a lot of respect for Richard. He has put in a lot of his own time to try and devote it for the club and we certainly respect that and appreciate that,’’ Mazevski said.
‘‘Perhaps we need someone a little different to guide us through this next phase. Maybe something a little bit different.’’
Under 20’s coach Jason Spencer will be in charge for the interim ahead of Wednesday’s Waratah Cup opener against Hurstville FC.
Spencer is considered in the running for the role with the Wolves expected to make a decision within the next week.
‘‘We are looking at someone who fits our model and our philosophy, and someone who can get the best out of our players to turn this season around for us,’’ Mazevski said.