Manager John Sheridan to leave Waterford after eight games

The former Ireland midfielder is heading to England's League One
Manager John Sheridan to leave Waterford after eight games

John Sheridan: Leaving the RSC after just seven games in charge

Waterford manager John Sheridan will depart the club after tomorrow’s game against Bohemians to take over English League One club Wigan Athletic.

The former Ireland midfielder (55) has only been in charge at the RSC for seven games since owner Lee Power made the appointment in late July until the end of the season.

Wigan, who are in administration, have been on the lookout for a new boss since ex-Sligo Rovers boss Paul Cook resigned six weeks ago.

He had led the club into the Championship but despite winning 10 of their last 18 games, suffered relegation in July due to a 12-point deduction imposed by the EFL.

The Latics are still seeking a buyer to secure their long-term future but will have Sheridan in charge for Sunday’s opening League One game against Ipswich Town.

His departure will come as a blow to Waterford.

After the disappointment of being disqualified from the Europa League on a technicality last year, coupled with a slump in crowds and sponsorship, former Ireland U21 international Power had cut the playing budget.

Outrage was to follow when his squad and staff were laid off by email in early May as the lockdown triggered a cancellation of all sporting fixtures.

Alan Reynolds then quit after three years at the helm in June, citing a lack of communication with the foreign-based owner among his reasons.

Sheridan’s surprise appointment, however, galvanised the club. He arrived just in time for the first game after the restart against Shelbourne, guiding his new-look side to a 1-0 win at Tolka Park.

A scoreless draw at home to Cork City followed, after which a weakened side were knocked out of the FAI Cup at Dundalk.

It is the 2-2 rematch at Oriel in the league three days later that Sheridan’s short stint in Ireland will be most remembered for.

A touchline spat with Vinny Perth led to then Dundalk boss accusing Sheridan of branding the Irish domestic product as a “pub league” and a “shambles”. Sheridan subsequently denied the claims.

The two late defeats against Sligo Rovers and Finn Harps which came next veered the Blues towards the relegation zone, a slump that was arrested by last Friday’s 3-0 win over St Patrick’s Athletic.

In a shortened, 10-team league, those three points pushed Waterford back up to fifth, just behind champions Dundalk on goal difference.

Power will now seek a swift appointment for the final seven matches of the campaign.

Local hero Reynolds is back on the market after following Perth out the Dundalk exit door last week but they will also consider candidates from overseas despite the travel restrictions.

Waterford’s first game after Sheridan’s exit will be Monday week away to leaders Shamrock Rovers.

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