Crawley Town have urged supporters to get behind interim manager Dean Saunders when he takes charge of the club for the first time tomorrow.
The former Wolves boss takes charge of Reds for their League One clash against Colchester United tomorrow.
It is a crucial clash for both struggling sides who sit in the relegation places.
The former Welsh international, who was spotted as Crawley’s home match with Port Vale last week, has clearly been in line to take charge at Reds due to John Gregory’s impending heart surgery and the news was announced by the club earlier today.
A club statement read: “Crawley Town can confirm that team manager John Gregory is stepping down from his position with immediate effect.
“John will be undergoing a major open-heart surgery operation at the beginning of January and afterwards will need a lengthy period of recuperation. This operation needs to be done as soon as possible but is not stress related.
“The club have today appointed Dean Saunders as interim team manager. Dean will be responsible for every aspect of the playing side including coaching, player recruitment and scouting.
“After an illustrious 19-year playing career Dean had spells as assistant manager at Blackburn, Newcastle and with the Welsh national team. He was in charge for three years at Wrexham before spells at Doncaster Rovers and Wolves.
“The club would urge all our supporters to get behind Dean, starting on Sunday when he will take charge of the team for the home game against Colchester United.”
Saunder’s playing career saw him play for Brighton & Hove Albion, Aston Villa and Liverpool before moving into coaching as assistant manager at Blackburn, Newcastle and the Wales national team.
He has also managed at Wrexham and Doncaster Rovers.