RADCLIFFE boss Jon Macken has stepped down as manager citing a difference of opinion over the direction of the club.

The former Manchester City striker leaves Boro in eighth in the BetVictor Premier Division table after promotion last season.

The 42-year-old took over at the Neuven Stadium in September of 2017 and has been assisted by ex-Chelsea defender Frank Sinclair who has also departed.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff, volunteers and players at Radcliffe and most of all you amazing supporters who have made myself and the town proud,” Macken said in a statement on social media.

“This decision has not been taken lightly but with a heavy heart.

“However, the club and I were no longer aligned on the plan for success that I laid out three years ago.

“I am very proud of the historic progress we have made and were continuing to make but expectations are not always the same across the board.

“I would have loved nothing more than to have taken the boys into our next game but, ultimately, this was no longer the collective desire at the club so I’ll now keep a fond eye on the team from afar.

“Wishing everyone at Radcliffe continuing success for the future.”

Sinclair expressed similar sentiments after being Macken’s right-hand man, the duo having taken over with the club in lower reaches of the First Division North.

“Thank you to everyone at Radcliffe down to the staff, the players, the supporters and owners,” he said.

“I made some incredible friendships in the last two years and leave with my head held high.

“Jon will come again I’m positive of that and it’s been a pleasure to work with him.

“Someone will get a special group of lads who are built to compete and will not fear overachieving.”

In a brief statement, Boro announced their manager’s departure and paid tribute to his efforts.

“The club wishes to make known its sincere thanks for the job Jon has done for the club over the past two-and-a-half years, in particular gaining promotion last season and taking the club to a strong position in the mix for the play-offs this season,” it read.  

“We have no doubt that Jon Macken has a bright future in the game and wish him all the very best for the future.”