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He’s Dunn, Barrow part company with their manager

Barrow part company with their manager David Dunn on Sunday afternoon following their 4-2 defeat against Crawley on Saturday afternoon.

It always looked to be a dodgy appointment after Ian Evatt chose to leave the newcomers, but dismal form has seen them fall to 21st in the League Two table.


The Club can confirm that we have today parted company with First Team Manager David Dunn.

The Board would like to place on record their sincere thanks to David for all his hard work and dedication since taking the role and wish him every success in his future career.

Assistant Manager Rob Kelly will now take temporary charge of First Team affairs until a successor is appointed.


It was in September that Rob Kelly was appointed as the club’s new Assistant Manager.

He agreed to join David Dunn following a spell in the Bundesliga alongside Uwe Rosler at Fortuna Dusseldorf.

“I wanted to get the right people around me because I think that’s really important for a young manager,” Dunn said to barrowafc.com.

“I am absolutely delighted that Rob has agreed to come on board – I think it’s a bit of a coup for the Football Club.

“He was my Youth Team Coach when I was at Blackburn and he has a wealth of experience having coached all over Europe so to get him alongside me is going to be a big help and a massive plus for the Club.”

Kelly is a former footballer for Leicester City and Wolves, but has since taken to coaching at Wolves and Watford before enjoying a spell as Academy Director at Blackburn Rovers.

He was then brought in as Assistant Manager to Craig Levein at Leicester, however, when Levein was given the boot at the beginning of 2006, Kelly was asked to takeover on a temporary basis.

His performance as caretaker boss earned him and appointment as the Foxes’ permanent manager and he went on to spend over a year in the hotseat.

Kelly then was part of the coaching staff at Preston North End, working as Assistant Manager to Alan Irvine before following him to Sheffield Wednesday in January 2010.

He then went to Nottingham Forest where he was part of a coaching team with various managers, including the likes of Steve McClaren and Alex McLeish.

In 2014 he was reunited with Irvine at the Baggies and – after a short spell alongside Rosler at Leeds United – Kelly then joined Irvine once again but this time with Blackburn in December 2015.

Rosler then brought in Kelly to Fleetwood Town at the start of the 2016/17 season and he helped the Cod Army to a total of 82 points on their way to a fourth-place finish in the League One table.

He then went to Bury where he worked as assistant to Ryan Lowe and helped the club to automatic promotion from League Two before being tempted by a role alongside Rosler with Swedish outfit Malmo.

Dunn said following the defeat: “Like any manager that’s on a bad run you worry,” admitted Dunn, whose side haven’t won in the league since securing back-to-back wins at the end of October.

“There’s a little bit of pressure that comes with the job.

“Do I want to win more games? Obviously, I do.

“I can’t affect anything else, all I can affect is what I do and that’s lead the team as best I can and keep going for this football club.

“Hopefully we can turn things around and get some positive results.

The former Blackburn player added: “We need to find a way to win.

“At the minute two wins in the league isn’t good enough at all.

“We have to find a way, there’s no two ways about it.

“All I can do is try and prepare the team as best I can for Tuesday night.

“Hopefully we can kickstart our season.

“I really thought today was going to be the day that we kickstarted our season.”

Barrow will now travel to Scunthorpe United on Tuesday night and before getting the chop, Dunn said he doesn’t care if they win by hook or by crook as long as they pick up a vital win.

David Dunn was installed the bookmakers favourite to become the new manager at Barrow five months ago.

Before getting the job he was a coach with League One side Blackpool having been appointed by Simon Grayson in January and kept on by ex-Liverpool boss Neil Critchley.

Between the sacking of Grayson, and appointing Critchley, Dunn had four games as caretaker, winning four, drawing one and losing one.

His only other managerial experience was a short spell in charge of Oldham Athletic in 2015/16, winning just three of his 20 matches.

It was just months after he hung up his boots after a remarkable playing career, which saw him make 466 appearances, 378 of those coming at Blackburn Rovers.

After his departure from Oldham, Dunn joined Rovers where he worked alongside Damien Johnson in the Under-23s, helping the club win the Premier League 2 Division Two title in 2017/18.

He also had a spell as first-team coach in the final 15 games of the 2016/17 season, before Tony Mowbray came in.

Dunn left Rovers in the summer of 2018 but then joined Barrow after a short hiatus.

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