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By ESPN Staff

Falkirk announce May departure, appoint Pressley

Eddie May's short reign as Falkirk manager came to an end on Thursday after the club announced his departure and the appointment of Steven Pressley in his place.

Pressley, 36, has stepped up from his role as May's assistant for his first job in management. He will be assisted by veteran former Aberdeen and St Mirren boss Alex Smith, who had been director of football under May.

The announcement at Stirling University followed reports May had resigned in the wake of Wednesday night's 1-0 Scottish Premier League defeat to Kilmarnock. That result left the Bairns, who have won only three SPL games since May took charge last summer, three points adrift at the foot of the table.

Pressley told the Bairns' official website: ''Today has been a day of mixed emotions for me, with the disappointment of Eddie May leaving the club, but also the excitement of being given the opportunity to manage Falkirk Football Club. Working with Eddie over the last seven months has been a hugely enjoyable experience and we grew very close during that time.

''During Eddie's tenure here, he made many strong and decisive decisions and I'm sure that the club will benefit from these. There are many facets to being a football manager, whether it is tactical, motivational or psychological and although Eddie and I agree on some of these, our philosophies differed greatly on others.

''I have been given the opportunity to lead Falkirk to the end of the season and have a great belief in the players, backroom staff, the board and finally myself in securing Falkirk Football Club's SPL status.

''There are still 15 games remaining with a potential of 45 points to be won and, make no mistake, all 15 of these games are potentially winnable. I feel I have a good relationship with the players and I would not have taken on this job if I did not believe that I can manage them and bring the club a degree of success.''

May, who succeeded current Hibernian boss John Hughes in June, began his tenure with an embarrassing exit from the Europa League qualifiers at the hands of Liechtenstein-based minnows FC Vaduz.

He had been on the coaching staff at Falkirk for five years before making the step up to his first senior management position.

Following his appointment, he recruited Pressley as his assistant, while veteran manager Alex Smith was installed as director of football. After winning his his first game in charge - the first leg of the Europa League second qualifying round back in July - May oversaw a 13-match winless run in league and cup.

That sequence finally came to an end with an SPL victory over Hamilton in November but the club continued to struggle, winning only one of their next 10 games. They did record an impressive victory at Aberdeen just over a week ago but Wednesday night's result appears to have been the final straw.

May has become the third SPL boss to lose his job since the turn of the year, following Jim Jefferies at Kilmarnock and Csaba Laszlo at Hearts.

By the close of play on Thursday, only four top-flight clubs - Rangers, Hamilton, St Mirren and St Johnstone - will be led by the managers who were in charge at the end of last season following nine months of upheaval in the division.


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