HAMILTON chairman Allan Maitland revealed he received 50 applications to be the club's new head coach within an hour of Martin Canning’s departure.

Canning’s four-year tenure as Hamilton manager came to an end following a meeting with Maitland on Tuesday morning when they agreed on a parting of the ways.

Hamilton are currently third bottom of the Ladbrokes Premiership and have failed to win in their last nine games, losing seven of them, and Maitland insists the time was right to make the change.

Coaches Guillaume Beuzelin and George Cairns will be in charge for their vital clash with second-bottom Dundee on Saturday but Maitland hopes to make a quick appointment as Hamilton strive to pull away from a relegation dogfight.

Maitland said: “I’ve had 50 applications in an hour, and that’s not to mention the phone calls I have received. Hamilton Accies are a Premier League football club, we’re here on merit and we’d like to stay in the Premier League.

“It’s an attractive proposition for a lot of people. I’d be surprised if there is not a huge number of applications.

“I’d like to have someone in place by Saturday if possible, but I think the reality is that I’ll need to go through the applications and interview people and make a decision as soon as I can.

“I’ve only been the chairman for seven weeks, so from my point of view I felt I had to give Martin the opportunity and support and see if there was a long-term future there.

“Martin has had a terrible time from the support, there’s been a lot of negativity there. So when I spoke to Martin, both of us thought the best thing for the football club was to have a change. We both agreed on that and today was the day we decided to do it.

“It was hugely tough [decision]. Everywhere you go around this football club there’s photos of Martin as a player or as a manager. I know Martin really well and you know we like to have a succession plan for our players and for our staff and Martin is a big part of this football club.

“He’s done fantastically well, ten and a half years as a player and a coach so it’s a sad day when he leaves.

“I think for Martin it’s probably a relief, to be honest with you. I think he’s had a really difficult time with results and in many ways he’ll feel let down by some of the general mistakes the players were making on a Saturday or in games.

“Now it is time for a change."