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Ian Foster: Plymouth Argyle chief executive defends head coach's appointment

Plymouth Argyle chief executive Andrew Parkinson has defended the club's decision to appoint Ian Foster.

The former England Under 20's boss was sacked as head coach on Monday night after Argyle dropped to within one point of the relegation zone after an eighth loss in 11 Championship games.

Foster was in charge for less than three months - the shortest-ever tenure for a permanent boss at Home Park.

"We would never have taken a gamble in that regard," Parkinson said.

"We went through a very thorough process, looked at lots of different candidates for the role, we had hundreds of applications as well.

"I think we believed he was the right person for the job, and in fairness he brought a lot to the club.

"He is incredibly hard working, tactically very good as well, but there's a multitude of factors that go into managing a football club these days and the biggest one is results.

"That's where we got to and that's how we decided we needed to make a change."

Parkinson and owner Simon Hallett have opted to put director of football Neil Dewsnip and first team coach Kevin Nancekivell in charge until the end of the season, rather than appoint a caretaker manager.

The duo took charge of the Pilgrims for four matches after Steven Schumacher left to join Stoke City shortly before Christmas.

The pair guided Argyle to draws with Birmingham City, Cardiff City and Watford, as well as a 2-1 loss at Southampton - as Plymouth scored nine goals in the process.

A lack of goals was Foster's downfall - Argyle failed to score their last five home matches and found the net just eight times in their last 12 league games under Foster.

"We go back to where do we think our best chance is of getting as many points as we can in the last six games," Parkinson added to BBC Radio Devon.

"When you factor into all of the things that you consider, continuity is really important, trust from the players, people that know the club inside out, we only came to one real conclusion and that was to have Neil Dewsnip and Kevin Nancekivell to take the team for the last six games.

"They had a short spell doing that before Christmas, we played good football, good performances, scored a lot of goals and we're not trying to shake up the dressing room in a very short space of time.

"So it really was the only conclusion that we could come to when you balance all of those things up.

"I think we've given ourselves the best chance of getting as many points as possible over the next few games," he added.