ROCESTER boss Dave Shaw is "gutted" after the club sacked him just two games into the Midlands Football League season.
The Romans suffered a 9-1 home hammering at the hands of Boldmere St Michael's on Saturday before a 5-2 defeat at Continental Star on Wednesday night.
Sandwiched in between was a 7-0 friendly defeat to a Crewe Alexandra XI.
"I'm gutted," said Shaw, who had two successful spells as a player at Hillsfield. "We didn't quite gel early enough for the club, but I thought I might have got more time.
"That's football I suppose."
Shaw took over midway through last season after Rocester had got off to a disastrous start under former boss Mark Kavanagh.
Although results briefly improved, the Romans finished in the bottom three of the old Midland Alliance.
They were set to be relegated until the FA gave them an 11th hour reprieve after Highgate United's ground failed a grading inspection and Gornal Athletic suffered a points deduction.
Shaw has suffered a disjointed pre-season and players such as Richard Froggatt, Carl Allen and Liam Shaw are still unavailable due to holidays.
"It's been a nightmare," said Shaw. "The holidays have killed us and it's something you have to deal with at this level of football.
"It's all right at a pro club or a club higher up the ladder paying money to players.
"Results in pre-season haven't been up to scratch but I had to start again, bringing in eight or nine players.
"I've told the players to stick together and see who comes in."
Assistant boss Ant Jones takes over for Saturday's visit of Tipton Town to Hillsfield.