Ex-Newcastle United star takes temporary charge of Northern League Division Two strugglers

Former Newcastle United defender Olivier Bernard will take temporary charge of Northern League Division Two strugglers Durham City following the departure of management team Billy Harper and Stephen Durrant.

Monday, 23rd September 2019, 6:22 pm

The Citizens are currently sat bottom of the Division Two table after losing eight of their opening nine games of the season.

A 4-0 home defeat against Bedlington Terriers on Saturday proved to be Harper and Durrant’s final game in charge of the club as they decided to bring an end to their ten-month reign.

The duo have undertaken a mass overhaul of the Citizens squad throughout their time in charge but they have been unable to produce any upturn in fortunes at the club.

City ended last season bottom of the Division Two table and were only saved from relegation into the Wearside League by the Football Association’s restructure of the non-league pyramid.

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The new season has failed to produce any improvement in their fortunes and a club statement released on Twitter on Monday lunchtime confirmed that Harper and Durrant have now left the club.

It read “Durham City can confirm the departures of joint managers Billy Harper and Stephen Durrant and thank them for their hard work and wish them all the best in the future.

“Durham will now search for a new manager and anyone interested should contact the club via email dcafc@sky.com with a CV.

“Chairman Gary Hutchinson said Olivier Bernard will be taking charge of Tuesday night’s game as we look to try to bring the right person/people in.”

Former joint-manager Durrant also took to social media to confirm that the decision to resign had been taken by Harper and himself.

He tweeted “Best of luck to Durham City and thanks to Olivier Bernard for the opportunity and to all the players for their efforts.

“Our collective resignation as a management team was our decision and will hopefully allow the club to progress with a great team in place.”

Former Magpies defender Bernard will take caretaker charge of the club for the third time - starting with Tuesday night’s Mitre Sports Brooks Mileson League Cup game at Division Two rivals Birtley Town.