U's manager Ian Hazel today handed in his resignation. Club chairman Bruce Elliott commented, "It is very sad that it has come to this. When Ian initially joined us his brief was to steer us clear of relegation difficulties and he managed that with a little to spare. Last season there were definite signs of improvement and after a poor start we picked up form and were always relatively comfortable in the league. This season we all had high hopes that we would be challenging for the play-offs but, for whatever reasons, that has not happened. Ian has always been very hard working, even last week he was busy chasing new players, but things have not been going his way of late. He has been a pleasure to work with and we wish him well in whatever he does but now we as a club have to look ahead and decide what we need to do to try and reverse the current situation and rise up the table. We hope to make a permanent appointment relatively quickly but, in the meantime, Stuart Massey will take charge of the first team with assistance from Micky Stephens."
Hazel joined the U's in March 2006, having previously enjoyed spells in charge of Tooting & Mitcham and Walton & Hersham. "I'd like to wish the club all the best for the future," he said today. "I have enjoyed my time here and found the people really excellent to work with. I was hoping to deliver the success that everyone wanted but, sadly, that is not to be. The last week or so has been exceptionally difficult and having taken time to reflect on Saturday's performance I feel it is in the best interests of the club if I stand down and allow my successor time to turn things around. I am sure that we have the basis of a good squad and certainly wish everyone well for the remainder of the season. Finally, I would just like to add my personal thanks to the supporters. I really do appreciate all of the backing that you gave to me, Paul and now Stuart and am sorry I couldn't give you more to shout about."