Ks assistant Gary Abbott has put his hat in the ring to take over as manager – with his ex-boss’ ringing endorsement.

Alan Dowson resigned as Kingstonian manager on Sunday bringing the curtain down on more than seven years in charge at Kingsmeadow less than a fortnight after his side crashed out of the Ryman Premier League play-offs at the hands of AFC Hornchurch.

Former England semi-professional international Abbott, who joined the 43-year-old’s backroom team last year from Cray Wanderers, has managerial experience at Sittingbourne under his belt.

And the 49-year-old ex-striker, who is expected to meet Ks chairman John Fenwick in the coming days to discuss the role, insisted he would not have put his name forward had he not received Dowson’s backing.

“I’m gutted for him that he has come to this decision,” he  said.

“When I spoke to him last week, I did not know he was going to do it.

“Having spoken to him since he is keen to get back into football when the time is right and he has had a bit of a break.

“He wants me as his number two if he goes somewhere, but understood if I can't wait around.

“I said I'd go with him, but he also told me I should apply for the job.

“I would not have done if he was not happy for me to put my name forward.

“I'm in the running and I’d love to get it. I feel ready for it.

“There are supposedly more experienced managers in the running, but I have been a manager before and I would be gutted if I did not get it."

Abbott helped guide Dowson’s men to a second-placed finish in the Ryman Premier League table, but saw them fall short.

And he expects Ks to challenge again next term should he get the nod sooner rather than later.

“If I can keep the squad together, bring in one or two and let go one or two, then I think we can get promoted,” he added.

“I’m  pretty sure a lot of our players have already been tapped up for next year.

"This has to be sorted quickly so I can get on the phone to the players and make sure they are all on board.”