Lisburn Distillery manager Tommy Kincaid has resigned from the club.
Kincaid, who joined the Whites in 2013, left the club on Monday night.
The resignation follows a run of poor results for the Whites, which has seen them slip to thirteenth in NIFL Championship One.
Speaking following his resignation, Kincaid said: “It was a real hard decision to make, but it was the right decision for the club.
“The decision was made foremost for the club. I’ve been there before in that situation and waited and waited, and ended up relegated. I didn’t want that to happen again.
“Sometimes someone new can come in and it lifts the players. They’ve got to respond to a new boss, there’ll be new tactics or whatever.
“If the players want to stay at Distillery they have got to play to show that and I’m hoping that’s the case.”
Kincaid said the reaction to the news of his resignation was one of disappointment.
“The reaction has been a reaction you want to have,” he commented. “The players are all gutted and didn’t want me to leave. The board accepted my resignation with a heavy heart on Monday night.
“I really enjoyed my time at Distillery and I told the players that.
“I can give the board nothing but credit, how they do it on a weekly basis is beyond me.
“I’d like to thank Colin and Terry, Bobby, Jim, the Chairman Jim, and Rodney. I’d like to thank them all for the opportunity. I had a great time with them, and I just thank them all.”
Kincaid said the players at the Whites ‘gave their all’ during his time at the club.
“We were a wee bit unlucky at times,” he said. “But the players gave their all, I can give them nothing but credit.
“Wherever I’ve been I class the players as friends, and I would say the same for Distillery.
“They have underachieved, they are too good a squad to be at the bottom of the league.”
Looking ahead to his future, Kincaid said he had nothing planned, but wouldn’t rule out a return to football.
“When I left Larne I became manager of Glenavon inside two weeks, people thought that was arranged but you never know what is going to happen in football.
“I’m not going to say I’ll be out of football, I’ll still be watching the game. I’ve been invited to a coaching session here and there already.”
Speaking about the fans at Distillery, Kincaid said: “Sometimes fans can vent their anger on you, like after the 7-0 defeat against Larne, some supporters are calling you names, but two supporters, David McKee and Crystal Stewart, they sent a text asking ‘Are you okay?’, and one of the nicest things at Distillery, one of my most memorable moments, they have just asked me to be an usher at their wedding next August. Of course I said yes.”
“As much as there is doom and gloom, there are always people who care.
Kincaid said the lack of success at Distillery wasn’t for a lack of effort.
“I can assure everybody, it certainly wasn’t for a lack of passion or effort.
“I really wish that Distillery get out of where they are.
“It’s not my fault, or the players’ fault, or the Directors’ fault.
“It’s the fault of previous regimes and the boys there picked the pieces up and kept Distillery going.
“When I started I had to pick up the pieces and I wanted to be there with them for success, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.
“It was the previous regimes that got them where they are.
“People say Distillery shouldn’t be beaten by Lurgan Celtic, but Distillery are not the Premier League side they once were, they are not the same team.
“Other clubs have got more resources than Distillery. I don’t want to put down the players, but at the end of the day other teams have bigger resources.
“It would be good for fans to get behind the Directors and give them a helping hand, knowing how hard it is for them.”
Darren Nixon and Jimmy McIlhagga, the club Captain and Vice Captain, alongside Nick O’Neill will take charge of Distillery’s match on Saturday.
Lisburn Distillery released a statement on Tuesday, which said: “Following a meeting on Monday night the Lisburn Distillery board of directors have, with sadness, accepted the resignation of first team coach Tommy Kincaid.
“The board would like to go on record to offer their sincere gratitude for the hard work and effort put in by Tommy over the last two and a half years.
“It shouldn’t be forgotten that when Tommy was appointed that the club had just been relegated and his first task was to find a competitive team of players as our entire playing staff from the previous year had walked away.
“Tommy not only achieved this but produced a decent side of experienced and younger players despite having to work under a very restrictive budget.
“The behind the scenes work put in by Tommy over the last few years was exceptional and we know he leaves the club with a heavy heart having not achieved the hoped for success on the pitch that he so craved. Few people could have worked harder in the role and his presence will be missed by all at the club.
“Assistant manager Andy Harwood & goal keeping coach Glenn Johnson have also left the club and once again we thank both men for their efforts and hard work during their time with the club.”