CHESTER City have sacked assistant manager Huw Griffiths less than a week into the new season.
The 31-year-old former Bangor and Southport number two was dismissed following an alleged half-time dressing-room bust-up with an unnamed City player during Tuesday’s 5-2 Carling Cup defeat to Leeds United at the Deva Stadium.
Blues owner Stephen Vaughan said yesterday: “I can confirm that Huw Griffiths has left the club. It is an internal matter and will stay internal.”
Tensions were running high during half-time on Tuesday as City went into the break trailing Leeds 5-1. They had kicked off the season on Saturday with a 6-0 defeat at Dagenham.
City manager Simon Davies appointed Griffiths in May. The pair have been good friends since their playing days at Bangor and have spent the summer studying for their Uefa A coaching licences.
Davies, meanwhile, yesterday revealed he was closing in on the signature of Eddie Johnson.
The transfer window closes in two weeks and the Chester manager is keen to bring in free agent Johnson, who can play either in midfield or as a striker.
Davies said: “We’ve still got Eddie Johnson training with us and we’re really interested in doing something with him. Hopefully towards the end of this week and the start of next week we can sort something out.”
Chester-born Johnson, 24 next month, was released by Bradford City at the end of last season and turned down a firm contract offer from the Blues in favour of going on trial with one of his former clubs, Crewe Alexandra.
But last week he was told he would not be taken on by the Alex – and he has been training with Chester since last Thursday.
Davies added: “He’s looked really, really well in training. Players respect other players by what they do in training, regardless of personality. You talk with your feet in training and he’s been respected straight away.”
Both parties want a deal to go through but it is understood that salary cap restrictions mean Chester must trim their wage bill first before they can sign Johnson.
The out-of-favour Mark Hughes and Paul Rutherford are leading candidates to be moved on, with Rutherford going on trial at Northwich Vics this week.
Next up for the Blues is a home meeting with Wycombe Wanderers tomorrow and Davies is remaining calm despite his team’s alarming start to the season.
“There’s no panicking right now,” he said. “We’ve just got to make sure we set our stall out against Wycombe and make sure we don’t concede an early goal.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re patient with our play, then we have got the quality in our side that will create chances and we’ll score goals.”