Langton: ‘Goalkeeper told me I’d got boot at Horsham’

JPCT-20-08-11 SC11340524a football. Horsham v Bury Town. -photo by steve cobb
JPCT-20-08-11 SC11340524a football. Horsham v Bury Town. -photo by steve cobb

HUGO Langton says he only discovered he had been sacked as manager of Horsham FC because of a phone call from his goalkeeper.

Speaking to the West Sussex County Times the day after his dismissal, Langton said he felt ‘let down’ with the way he had been treated after refusing to stand down, but that he wished the club well under new manager Simon Colbran.

He said: “My goalkeeper, Michael Hunter phoned me at 5.50pm yesterday evening to say he had a call from a former Horsham player who had been approached by Simon Colbran to sign for Horsham.

“So that’s how I found out I’d been sacked. I then tried to phone both (chairman) Kevin Borrett and (chief executive) John Lines but couldn’t get through. Kevin phoned me back and I could tell by the tone of his voice what Michael had told me was true.

“Kevin asked me if I would stand down. But I’ve never quit anything in my life and I didn’t want people believing I had walked away, I’m not that sort of person, so I said you’ll have to sack me, and that’s exactly what he did.

“I do feel let down by the way I’ve been treated. In the statement (on the club’s website) it said the club were unhappy with comments I made after the Met Police game that I was at a crossroads.

“But I was talking about having decisions to make about whether or not to keep certain players or let them go, and I feel those words have been twisted somewhat to suite their decision.

“But it’s done, I can’t change it now. I really enjoyed my time at Horsham and I genuinely wish Simon Colbran all the best. I hope the club back him financially to give him a fighting chance.

“Most of my players were on £40 or $50 a week so it’s hard to compete with other teams with that sort of money at this level.”

Langton, who only took over from former manager Justin Luchford at the end of October, was dismissed following a poor run of results.

Saturday’s 4-1 loss at Met Police meant Langton had failed to win any of his 19 Ryman Premier matches at the helm, and it was the manner of the defeat which promoted the Horsham FC board to act so swiftly.

Langton continued: “It’s disappointing because me and (assistant manager) Craig Wilkins were already planning for next season. I was on the verge of signing a couple of very good players who would have improved us, and even began trying to arrange pre season friendlies.

“I had to smile when I read that I would struggle next season. I’ve spent many seasons at both the top and the bottom of the Ryman South and know that league inside out, it just shows how little certain people know me to say that.

“But I don’t have any hard feelings towards people at the club. John Lines and Kevin Borrett are good people deep down who are trying to do the best for the club.”

And talking about the reaction he has had since the news broke last night, he added: “I’ve had phone calls, tweets and texts from probably over 100 people - players, supporters and managers – and the nice things they have said means a lot and will always stay with me.

“I have to say the supporters always backed me, even when things weren’t going right on the pitch. I’ve always tried to be honest and open with them and I think they appreciated that.

“The fans are brilliant at Horsham and it’s because of them I feel I leave with my head held high.”