SATURDAY'S match will be Tommy Wright’s last as Darlington manager after he was sacked on Friday night, with the club saying results “have fallen short of expectations”.

In the bottom half of the table ahead of the final fixture of the season, last night Quakers announced they had “agreed to part ways for the benefit of the football club”.

The news, confirmed at 7pm, brings to and end Wright’s 18-month tenure and he will say farewell after tomorrow's match at Blackwell Meadows against Leamington.

David Johnston, Darlington’s chief executive officer, said: “This has been a difficult decision to make as Tommy is a talented young manager with a bright future ahead of him.

“As a board we have to balance that potential versus current results which ultimately haven’t been good enough this season. I would like to wish Tommy all the very best in his future career.”

Quakers say assistant manager Alan White will stay in his position and oversee the academy, which Wright was instrumental in setting up.

It is the creation of the academy, replacing the youth set-up that had been in place during predecessor Martin Gray’s reign, that ranks as one of Wright’s achievements during his time as manager.

Last season was a period of transition and ended in 12th place and with optimism high after Wright made some notable additions to the squad, particularly striker Reece Styche, and recorded a good run of results.

But after a summer of squad upheaval, one that saw supporters raise an extra £85,000 to boost Wright’s budget, an expected promotion assault never came close to materialising.

Darlington have spent the entirety of the campaign in the bottom half of the table and depending on the result today will finish their campaign between 15th and 18th.

Chris Stockdale, Darlington FC Supporters Group Chair said: “I want to thank Tommy for his tireless dedication and commitment since he arrived at our club.

“In many areas he has helped moved our club forward, notably with the launch of our own academy and he has generated significant transfer income from player sales. On a personal level he has been a pleasure to work with, conducting himself with dignity and grace regardless of circumstances.

“Ultimately results on the pitch this season have fallen short of expectations, but Tommy remains a talented young manager and coach and I wish him every success in the future.”

A Darlington statement added: “The board will now commence the search for a new manager.

“Everyone would like to thank Tommy for his service, and wish him all the best in the future.”

Wright enjoyed both of his spells as a player with Darlington. He was leading scorer in the play-off campaign of 2007-08 and also in the team that won the FA Trophy at Wembley in 2011.

Having experienced mixed fortunes during his spells as manager at Corby and Nuneaton, Wright was desperate to be a success in the Quakers hotseat, but he leaves having tried and failed, and he will point to the challenging financial position of the club being a major factor.

Being knocked out of the first round of the FA Cup, missing out on a potential lucrative run, meant Wright lost his star player with Styche sold to Alfreton to balance the books.

But the failure of most of Wright’s signings last summer to make the desired impact has proven costly for both the club and the manager, who often said performances had been better than results.

Ultimately, however, Saturday's game will be Wright’s 71st in charge and he has won 21 times so far, drawing 20 and losing 29, and that is why Quakers want a new manager.

Are Darlington right to part company with Tommy Wright?

Are Darlington right to part company with Tommy Wright?

Add your contribution now By uploading a contribution, for use online and in print, you accept our contributor terms. You will either own or have permission to use anything you provide.