OWEN COYLE faces an uncertain future as a top level manager after he walked out of Ross County last night having been just five months in the job.

It is understood the 51-year-old had been considering leaving the Dingwall club, who sit bottom of the Premiership, for some weeks as results and off-field issues did not go his way.

And for a man once wanted by Celtic and mentioned as a possible replacement for Arsene Wenger at Arsenal, this is the low point of the popular Coyle’s career in management.

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County have won just a single game in their last 16 in cup and league – Coyle saw only four victories in his brief time in the Highlands – and despite meeting the Press yesterday morning, the club later confirmed his resignation.

Sandy Stewart, his long-time assistant, also quit.

Coyle said: “Myself and the chairman had a chat on Monday and after some reflective thought I felt for the good of Ross County - and the challenging situation with my family being in England - it was in everyone’s best interests for me to offer my resignation, which the chairman duly accepted.”

As for the club, chairman and owner Roy MacGregor, said: “We thank Owen and Sandy for their time at Ross County Football Club and wish them well for the future.”

Apart from poor results and being away from his family, it is believed Coyle was personally hurt by the sordid revelations about Michael Gardyne, a senior player at Ross County, who was filmed performing a sex act which subsequently appeared online and then in a tabloid newspaper.

Ross County are three points adrift at the bottom of the Scottish Premiership table and while there remains a chance they could save themselves, without a manager, who was liked by the players, their top-flight status is under severe threat.

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Coyle took over from Jim McIntyre in September and the decision to remove the club’s most successful manager looks even more foolish.

McIntyre won the League Cup in 2016, Ross Country’s only major trophy in their history, and saved them from a more difficult position than they find themselves now the previous season.

And, yet, MacGregor, who has plunged millions into his local team, decided that a change was required.

What happens now for Coyle, one viewed as one of the best young manager in English football, is unclear.

When unveiled in the Highlands, the former striker said he was “as ambitious now as the first day I started” but he spent almost all his time explaining poor performances and defeats.

The Glaswegian led Burnley into the Premier League nine years ago, a success which promoted Celtic, the team he supported, to covert him as a replacement for Gordon Strachan.

Indeed, it was suggested at that time that Celtic contacted Coyle within 24 hours of Burnley winning their play-off match at Wembley.

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That season, the Lancashire side lost a League Cup semi-final to Arsenal on penalties, and the ex-Clydebank, Motherwell and Dunfermline player was linked with several top jobs.

But his record since those days is patchy.

Coyle was relegated with Blackburn in 2012 and a spell with Wigan lasted less than half a season.

“I turned the Celtic job down in 2009 and people don’t realise that," he admitted last year.

“I’ve got to say my initial reaction was to say yes I want to take the job.

“And what I actually had to do was to take the emotion out of the decision because my kids were a lot younger at that time.

“As a family we sat down and spoke about it with my wife and discussed whether we wanted to bring the kids back into that environment with the age they were at."