NORTHWICH Victoria have confirmed who will be leading the team until the end of the season at least.

Steve Pickup stepped down as manager last week.

That followed his Midland League Premier Division strugglers losing 4-1 at home to Stone Old Alleynians.

Pickup’s assistant Matt Barnes took charge of the team for Saturday’s home clash with Atherstone Town, which proved to be Vics’ first league win since November.

The Vics committee have now confirmed that former Prestwich Heys boss Barnes has agreed to remain as the manager initially until the end of the season.

He will be supported by Chris Broad as his assistant manager, Mark Byrne as first-team coach, Joshua Egerton as the goalkeeper coach and Lee McDonagh will remain as the club’s physio.

A statement from the committee continues: “In a week of change which has also seen a number of players move on from the club, we felt it was vital that we kept as much normality as possible to minimise the disruption, and Matt’s incredible appetite and desire to be successful in the role was clearly evident in the fantastic performance and 3-2 victory in Saturday’s game.

“I would also like to thank all the players that have decided to stay with us and remain loyal to Matt and the club as I know this is extremely valued and appreciated by everyone at Northwich Victoria.

“I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to Steve Pickup for the seven years’ service he has given to this club and will always be remembered fondly in rebuilding its foundations.

“I would also like to ask that all our amazing supporters remain behind the team and give Matt, Chris and the rest of the backroom team and playing squad all the incredible support that you give as Saturday just demonstrated what an amazing atmosphere we can create.”

Pickup was previously assistant to Steve Wilkes and took over the reins when his former boss left the club at the end of last season.

Announcing Pickup’s departure, a club statement said: “Steve Pickup has stepped down as manager of the club, after a very amicable discussion with chairman Ian Egerton and the recent results and performances on the pitch.

"Last night’s disappointing defeat has been a result of continuous struggles on and off the pitch with the lateral league move to the Midlands league and the club would like to place on record their sincere thanks to Steve for his support, passion and professionalism for all his time at Northwich Victoria.

"Steve’s loyalty and service to the club has been outstanding and he will always have a special place in our hearts and be welcome at the club for many years to come.

"It’s safe to say that this season hasn’t gone the way we would have hoped for but this certainly hasn’t been without the lack of effort and determination from everyone involved at the football club, especially Steve who has worked tirelessly to get a team worthy of the shirt on the pitch every single week and for that we will always be very grateful.”

Centre-half Brandon Barski, who car shared with Pickup, is among the players to have left Vics as a consequence of Pickup's departure.

Vics' Midland Premier League match away to Wolverhampton Casuals tonight, Tuesday, has been postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.