Kenny Jackett has stepped down as manager of Millwall.
The former Watford midfielder has been in charge of the Londoners for almost six years, with only Exeter City’s Paul Tisdale serving a longer time of all the current Football League managers. However, the 1-0 defeat at Derby County on Saturday afternoon has proved to be the last of his reign, after he handed in his resignation on Tuesday.
The Lions only avoided relegation from the Championship by two points, but overall, Jackett is widely regarded to have enjoyed a successful tenure. They were in League One when he took over in November 2007, and he led them to the second-tier after beating Swindon Town in the playoff final of 2010. They returned to Wembley again this term, where they lost to Premier League side Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup semi-final.
“After almost six seasons I personally feel the time is right for a new challenge, and also for a new manager to come into Millwall with fresh ideas, to take the club forward towards its long term goal of reaching the Premier League,” said Jackett.
“I would like to thank the chairman, the board of directors, players, members of staff and supporters of Millwall for their considerable backing. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Millwall. My family and I will always have a strong link and affinity with the club.”
Despite accepting his resignation, Millwall clearly felt they had the right man in Jackett. In a statement on the official club website, chairman John Berlyson offered his thanks to the 51-year-old, who most expect will make a swift return to the game in the summer.
“On behalf of the Board of Millwall Football Club, I want to express my thanks to Kenny for his fantastic service and achievements over the past five and a half years,” he said. “He has played a major role in creating a stable environment at Millwall which hadn’t been the case prior to his arrival. On a personal level, whilst respecting Kenny’s decision, I wish I could have persuaded him to change his mind.
“He was my first acquisition as chairman of the club and has proved himself to be one of the best. I am losing a great manager, but he will remain a good friend and hopefully, golf partner. I know everyone associated with Millwall, management, staff, players and fans, will wish Kenny all the very best with his future endeavours, except for those times when he might oppose us on the pitch.”