Helsingborgs IF were "not totally shellshocked" after coach Stuart Baxter resigned last night despite leading the Swedish side into the UEFA Cup Round of 32.
Stuart Baxter has resigned as coach of Helsingborgs IF despite leading the Swedish side into the last 32 of the UEFA Cup.
'As far as he can'
In the wake of their 2-1 defeat at FC Girondins de Bordeaux last night, the club confirmed that the 54-year-old Englishman would be leaving with immediate effect, with club chairman Sten-Inge Fredin saying: "We can confirm that Stuart Baxter has resigned from his position. He feels that he's taken that club as far as he can and that's where we stand today."
A disappointing eighth-placed finish in the Allsvenskan stands in stark contrast to Helsingborg's achievements in Europe, where they confirmed progress from UEFA Cup Group H after just three games. "I don't want to go into detail about why I have resigned," said Baxter. I've done my very best and now I will have a chat with the players, and after that I will take a holiday with my family for the first time in ages. After that I don't know what will happen."
Baxter had been frustrated by the club being forced to sell senior players during his time at Helsingborg, and Fredin was not particularly surprised by his resignation. "We're not totally shellshocked by his decision as we've had some indications that it might happen," he said. "Of course we hoped that he would stay until the end of his contract next year at least, but we have to accept his decision and find the best possible solution."
The club face further uncertainty as they search for a new coach in the winter months. The game in Bordeaux may represent Henrik Larsson and Andreas Jacobsson's final match for the club as they ponder retirement, with the latter having already accepted a coaching offer. In addition, midfielder Andreas Dahl has agreed to join Danish side FC Nordsjælland while striker Razak Omotoyossi - level with Larsson on six goals at the top of the UEFA Cup scorers charts - is attracting interest from plenty of other clubs.