Carlisle axe boss Kavanagh following poor start

Graham Kavanagh is out. Photo: PA

Carlisle have sacked manager Graham Kavanagh following the club's poor start to the season.

The Cumbrians, relegated to the bottom tier in May, are without a win in their first five Sky Bet League Two matches and lost 5-0 at newly-promoted Cambridge on Saturday.

A club statement read: "The directors of Carlisle United Football Club held a series of discussions on Sunday which culminated in a meeting late on Sunday night with team manager Graham Kavanagh.

"Regretfully, it has been decided to dispense with Graham's services after a very difficult and disappointing start to the season.

"Over the course of approximately one year Graham has managed significant change within the club, including the youth management and successful achievement of category three in the EPPP process, the introduction of 'strength and fitness coaching' and diet control, and major change of the first-team squad over the summer period.

"Unfortunately results on the field have not reflected that effort and hard work and from the 40 league games last season, following Greg Abbott's departure, and through the five league games this season there has been an average of one point per game.

"It resulted in relegation to League Two in May 2014 and it was felt we were continuing to head in the same direction this season.

"Saturday's result at Cambridge was a 'tipping point' for those concerned with the running and management of Carlisle United Football Club.

"The board wish Graham Kavanagh and his family well for the future as they are certain his hard work, determination and coaching will yield reward.

"The process of finding a new team manager begins (on Monday).

"In the interim period club captain Paul Thirlwell and goalkeeping coach Tony Caig have agreed to take the training sessions and handle team selection matters in the coming days."

Kavanagh, 40, joined Carlisle as a player on loan from Sunderland in October 2008 and returned to Brunton Park on a permanent basis when appointed the club's player/coach in January 2009.

After working as previous boss Abbott's assistant, the former Republic of Ireland midfielder was installed as manager of the club, struggling at the foot of League One, in September 2013 after a period as caretaker.

The Cumbrians were relegated in May and have lost three and drawn two of their five league fixtures this season.