SAINTS chairman Michael Wilde has spoken after the shock resignation of Jan Poortvliet.

The club's football chairman said how Poortvliet made a great contribution to the club, but how ultimately home form had let him down.

In the statement, Wilde said: "It is a great pity but home results have led to Jan's decision to stand down. He has made a great contribution to the club and the development of individual players. Jan is a man of the utmost honesty and integrity. "However, professional sport is all about results and we all sink or swim by reference to the scoreboard. Jan leaves with my heartfelt thanks and best wishes.

"We have embarked on this season with a very young squad of players, many of who have flourished as individuals under Jan's guidance. Sadly, team performance and overall results have not. "Jan's away form is close to play-off place standard but the team's record at home means that we are currently in the bottom three.

"Any football club Chairman undertakes management changes with great reluctance but with one win in 14, our home performances so far this season have simply not been good enough. "Jan has recognised this and has decided that the Club is best served if he stands down.

"With 18 games to go, I believe we still have ample opportunity to improve on our position before the end of the season and with only 4 points separating ourselves and the 5 teams above us, there is still everything to play for. "We must now do everything in our power to maximise our chances of putting clear water between the Club and the relegation zone as soon as possible.

"In terms of going forward, the Board and management team have already recognised that there are key areas of our playing squad that have needed strengthening. Over the past two weeks, we have signed Lee Molyneux, Jan-Paul Saeijs and seen the return of Marek Saganowski.

"Following the two games they have so far played, I am confident that all these players can do a good job for us during the second half of the season. "We are also hopeful of signing a further striker, which will enable Mark Wotte, who has been asked to take over as Head Coach, to have more attacking options.

"I have always said that the key to our season would be the ability to secure a consistent level of performance. This is particularly difficult to attain with a team of young players whose performances can vary quite dramatically as they learn to adapt to the demands of Championship football.

"This is how it has proved to be in the first half of the season with the team failing to build on the back of some excellent away performances. "With 28 games now gone, many of our younger players have now gained important experience that will stand them in good stead for the remainder of the season and the battle to come.

"With Jan's departure, we have considered making further changes but believe, for the time being, that the Club's best interests are served by maintaining a degree of continuity. "Despite playing a lot of very good football and creating a lot of chances, we have not converted anywhere near enough, and this is an area that the coaching team will have to concentrate on.

"The team and the coaching staff remain totally committed to what we are trying to achieve and fully understand the constraints within which we are operating. "They are aware that there is a big challenge ahead and I am confident that they will deliver."