HARWICH and Parkeston caretaker manager Mike Wallace has thanked the club's players and supporters for getting behind him during a "difficult period", following the club's decision to part company with Kieron Shelley.

The former Shrimpers boss was relieved of his duties following a disappointing start to the Thurlow Nunn League campaign.

Wallace, who had been his assistant, has stepped up to the plate and agreed to take the team until the end of the year.

Harwich have won their two games since he took the reins, defeating both Barkingside and Newbury Forest 3-1.

"Off the pitch, the last couple of weeks have been a difficult period, with Kieron leaving the club and key players moving on," said Wallace.

"Personally, it's been hard as Kieron and myself have enjoyed the best part of a year and a half at Harwich, as well as a year at Clacton.

"I class him as a very good friend who I've worked closely with for the last two years and it's been a strange experience not having him alongside me in the dugout.

"Although this year hasn't worked out as we all wanted, I hope the fans remember the amazing season we had last year and welcome Kieron back to the club with open arms whenever he comes back as a supporter or in the opposition dugout."

Wallace is still unsure what the long-term future holds for him.

But he says he has a strong bond with the club and has praised the players for their hard work and commitment in the last two games.

"I can honestly say I don't know what the future holds for me," he said.

"For now, I've spoken to (chairman) Tony (Armstrong) and he's asked me to take the team until the end of December.

"We can then go from there.

"Everyone knows my feeling towards the club, the supporters and the town, so I agreed to take charge on a temporary basis and will meet with Tony again in the New Year.

"So far, I have to say the players have been amazing, especially going to Barkingside a day after Kieron left.

"We were on a run of nine games without a win, so to come away with a win shows we have the players here to turn this season around.

"And as fans, all I ask is that we stick together, get behind the boys and support the club."