FORMER York City manager Michael Morton has said that he is sorry that he could not “pull the club in the right direction” following his sacking earlier this week.

Morton was relieved of his duties following Monday’s 3-1 home defeat to Vanarama National League newcomers Rochdale, though the club have offered him another role internally.

Assistant manager Tony McMahon will instead take charge of the Minstermen’s trip to Ebbsfleet on Saturday (3pm).

Following the sacking of David Webb in February, Morton was placed in interim charge at City before accepting a permanent role ahead of the season, but had seen results take a downward turn, prompting many fans to call for his sacking before last weekend’s Bank Holiday double-header.

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It’s been a dreadful start to the season for City, who have failed to see their summer spending come to fruition and are now only kept off the bottom of the table following Southend United’s 10-point deduction as the only side in the division not to have won so far this term.

New owners Matt and Julie-Anne Uggla have not been afraid to splash the cash in the Minstermen’s pursuit of a return to the Football League, recruiting 17 new players including Scottish Championship sensation Dipo Akinyemi, for whom former employers Ayr United turned down a bid of £240,000 from an unnamed Sky Bet League One club.

Former Sheffield Wednesday boss Darren Moore, ex-Lincoln City manager Danny Cowley, Neal Ardley, Kevin Phillips and Phil Parkinson are currently among the favourites for the top job at City.

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Speaking on social media, Morton apologised to the York fans for their poor results during the opening six matches of the season but insisted that the club was heading in the right direction under its new owners.

A statement read: “Well, it’s been a mental nine months with plenty of changes along the way!

“I just wanted to say thank you for all the lovely messages from the fans, players and staff!

“I think that most people know that this city and club mean so much to me, I’m just sorry I couldn’t make everyone proud and pull the club in the right direction this season.

“The club is moving in the right direction and it will be back where we all want it to be with Matt and Julie-Anne in charge.

“Just be patient with the process because a full restructure always takes time.

“It’s now time to recharge and have some family time…”

Fans have flocked to leave their well-wishes in the comments, with one saying: "Thanks for everything Mikey and good luck in what you do next.

"None of us will forget the great days you helped give us in a tough time at Chesterfield and Notts and what you did to keep us up last season."

Another added: "Good luck fella and thank you for all your hard work and efforts at the club, especially at the end of last season where you were doing roles that you were never meant to be doing.

"Enjoy the family time and break before your next job in football."