Plymouth Argyle 'in a downward spiral': Fans react to Ian Foster's sacking after three months

Ian Foster, Plymouth Argyle's head coach
Ian Foster was sacked from his role as Plymouth Argyle head coach on Monday 1 April. Credit: Plymouth Argyle

Plymouth Argyle fans have said the club is "in dire straits" and have backed a move to sack head coach Ian Foster after just three months in charge.

The 47-year-old was removed from his duties at around 11pm on Monday 1 April, just hours after the Pilgrims lost 1-0 at home to Bristol City.

It was Argyle's fifth consecutive defeat at home without scoring a goal - a record for the club.

Foster was in charge of 14 games in his tenure - the shortest of any Argyle head coach - and only won one of his last 11 fixtures.

Fans outside Home Park today said the club was in a "downward spiral" and said the decision was timely given the club is embroiled in a relegation battle.

One fan said: "I think his playing style isn't very good. Playing around the back didn't get us anywhere."

Another said: "He played the team in a completely different way to the previous manager. He was playing players out of position so I don't think that went down well with the fans at all."

A third said: "We've been on a big downward spiral so it's not good enough. The fans can see it, he's obviously lost the changing room. We're in dire straits here at the moment but I think we'll be alright now."

Argyle fans say they didn't enjoy Ian Foster's style of play Credit: ITV News

Plymouth Argyle was promoted to the Championship last season after amassing a club record of 101 points, but is facing the prospect of a swift return to the third tier.

With just six games remaining, Argyle sit just one point and one place above the relegation zone.

Joe Bell, from The Green & White Podcast, said: "Really, from the Sheffield Wednesday game onwards, there's been the feeling that perhaps a change needed to happen.

"We then had the Preston game and you've got the international break and you sort of think if it's going to happen, it's going to happen now.

"It didn't happen so we actually went into the Norwich preview episode thinking that's it, they've made their decision - let's get behind him and get behind the team and it hasn't worked out."

Ian Foster in a press conference Credit: ITV News

Foster joined Argyle following a spell as an assistant coach for Steven Gerrard's Al-Ettifaq in the Saudi Professional League.

He led England U19s to the European Championship title in 2022 and was in the coaching setup when England won the U17 World Cup winners in 2017 alongside current Argyle defender Lewis Gibson.

He has also managed England's U20 side and served as assistant coach in the England women's set-up.

When Steven Schumacher left for Stoke City, Director of Football Neil Dewsnip said they had at least 100 applications for his job.

Dewsnip and first-team coach Kevin Nancekivell will take charge in the meantime.

Ian Foster on the touchline during a match at Home Park, Plymouth Credit: PA

Chairman Simon Hallett said: “Ian was hired through a thorough and extensive recruitment process and his coaching credentials really stood out when making the appointment.

“But we have to balance long-term stability against short-term decisions, and we have given Ian as long as possible to see if results could improve.

“Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case, and we feel now is the right time to make a change to give us the best chance of securing survival.

“The Green Army have been incredible in recent weeks, as ever, and we need you all now to continue that support as we embark on the final weeks of the campaign with Neil and Nance in charge.

“Together we can achieve what we set out to achieve at the start of the season.”

Plymouth's next game is at relegation-threatened Rotherham United on Friday 5 April.