RONNIE Jepson has been appointed as caretaker manager of Bury following today’s sacking of Kevin Blackwell.

The 50-year-old former Bury player and Gillingham manager, who was drafted in as Blackwell’s assistant at the start of the season, will take charge of the team in their League Two match at Portsmouth on Saturday.

A statement released by chairman Stewart Day said that all of Blackwell’s backroom staff, including development squad coach Ben Futcher, would also remain at the club.

“We have asked Ronnie Jepson to stand in as the caretaker manager and all of the current back room staff have been asked to stay as we feel stability is the key at this stage,” read Day’s statement.

“We are confident that the future is bright and ask for the continued support at this difficult time.”

Day added that the decision to sack Blackwell was taken due to a poor recent run of results that has seen the Shakers fail to win any of their last seven matches – a run that has left them a point and two places above the Football League trapdoor.

“I have always stated I have a five-year plan and nothing can detract from that. As such, every effort will be made to make sure we are back where we belong,” said Day, who took over as chairman in May after leading a takeover of the club.

“When I started the role at Bury, I knew that there would be decisions to be made that would not always be easy.

“As a board we had to make one of those decisions, and terminate the employment of Kevin Blackwell.

“We would like to thank Kevin for his efforts to turn this great club into a promotion-winning side, but, for whatever reason, the efforts off the pitch were not reflected by the performances and results on the pitch.

“As a chairman, I have set high standards at this club and every effort has been made to support the first team staff and players.

“It saddened me to make this decision but was made with the best intention of the club’s future.”

Jepson played 47 matches for Bury betwwen 1996 and 1998. He also managed at Kent side Gillingham for two seasons, between 2005 and 2007, before taking up coaching roles under Neil Warnock at Huddersfield, Crystal Palace, QPR and Leeds United.