CLITHEROE chairman Carl Garner has paid tribute to Pete Smith after the Blues boss parted company with the club this week.
Smith offered the Ribble Valley outfit his resignation following the 3-2 defeat against Trafford at Shawbridge, but agreed to ponder his future following discussions with senior officials.
However, his frustration over the performances of his Jekyll and Hyde squad proved too much in the end.
After settling in a play-off spot for much of the opening half of the campaign, the Blues went on to win just four games in 17 which has seen them slide towards mid-table.
“The upshot of it all is that Pete Smith has now left the club,” Garner said.
“He handed in his resignation on Tuesday. We’ve to start all over again now because things are a little bit up in the air.
“I spoke to him at length and he’s fine with it. He’s left on good terms with people at the club and certainly with myself.
“He feels he needs a break from football. Things haven’t been great since Christmas in terms of results, and he’s been busy with work and family.”
Garner took charge of the side’s 3-3 draw at home to Garforth Town on Saturday, with Rob Turner rescuing a point in the final minute.
Garner said: “Going forward I’m not sure what we are going to do. I need to get my head around this first and then look to get something in place for the weekend.
“We’ve got one or two options we can take, but we won’t be in any rush to make an appointment.
“We’ve got 50 points and we are in a safe place in the league.
“The club’s in a stable condition financially and on the pitch. We are now established as a top-10 club at this level and we just need to think what’s best for the future..”
During Smith’s three seasons with the club, he guided them to the final of the LFA Challenge Trophy against Southport in the 2009/10 season, and achieved the club’s highest finish with eighth place in the First Division North table and a 62 points total.
Garner said: “Pete has had a great three season’s with us. He’s a hard-working, honest guy and a good friend.
“I’d like to thank him for his time at Shawbridge and I hope to see him back down here some time in the future. His departure was totally amicable.”
After witnessing first hand the team’s performance at the weekend, Garner believes that more quality is needed among the Shawbridge ranks.
Garner said: “We gave away silly goals but I can’t fault the way that the lads battled.
“The players have now got seven games now to prove that they are good enough to be here for next season and beyond.”
The Blues host Warrington on Saturday (kick-off at 3 p.m.).