OLDHAM Athletic have announced following discussions with manager and club legend John Sheridan, it has today been agreed that the time is right for him to step aside.
And there was mounting speculation that David Unsworth, who left Everton in April to pursue an ambition to become a manager, is firmly in the running for the job.
In a statement, the club said: “Having had the chance to assess where the club is at and what changes are required, both the board and John feel that someone else is needed to take on the major challenge of restoring the club’s fortunes on the field.
“To allow him the send-off he deserves and to give fans the opportunity to show their appreciation, John has agreed to take charge for one last time at our home match with Eastleigh on Saturday.
“We would place on record our thanks to John for his efforts. He came out of retirement in January because he felt a sense of duty to try and keep the club in the EFL.
“However, despite his best efforts and the amazing backing of our fans, that attempt was ultimately unsuccessful. Following relegation – and with the club for sale amid uncertain times – John felt he could not turn his back and so agreed to remain in charge.
“The completion of the Rothwell family takeover means that the club’s future has now been secured and with results so far not what everyone had been hoping for, John and the club now feel that the time is right for both he and Latics to move on as we enter a new era.
“It goes without saying that John leaves on very good terms and with nothing but the thanks and utmost respect from the board and the club.
“Shez will forever be a Latics legend and there will be discussions over a permanent tribute to his service at Boundary Park.”
Latics are currently 16th in Vanarama National League and have won only two of their first eight league games to sit only one point clear of the relegation places.
The decision about Sheridan’s future appears to have been taken following Tuesday’s 3-0 defeat at Woking.
Sheridan’s links to Latics stretch back to 1998 when he joined them at the back end of an illustrious playing career.
He has been manager six times – this is his fourth permanent appointment while there has been a further two in a caretaker capacity.
Sheridan, 57, enjoyed success in his first permanent spell between 2006-09 helping Latics reach the League One play-offs.
Subsequently, he returned for spells in 2016, 2017 and January 2022 when he replaced Tunisian Selim Benachour with the club battling to retain its EFL status which it lost in May.
Sheridan has also managed Chesterfield twice, Plymouth Argyle, Notts County, Fleetwood Town, Carlisle United, Waterford, Wigan Athletic and Swindon Town.
Unsworth, who played under Joe Royle at Everton, has held a variety of coaching roles in the 13 years since he retired.
He has acted twice as caretaker manager at Preston North End where he was initially a development coach, been assistant manager at Sheffield United and since 2013 been back at Everton as assistant and manager of the Under-23s as well as having two spells as caretaker manager for the Toffees’ first team.