WILDER’S SWITCH SHOWS COURAGE
PEOPLE have looked at Chris Wilder’s decision to swap a play-off slot at Oxford for a relegation scrap at Northampton and expressed disbelief at why somebody would make that switch. I do not know the answer. But I can guess: 1. It may be as simple as £ notes; one job pays less, the other pays much more. 2. Northampton is a little closer to his northern roots; perhaps it is a family issue of wanting to cut the distance between ‘home’ and work. 3. He sees footballing potential in Northampton that he doesn’t see in Oxford. 4. It may be that he clashed with his Oxford chairman and wanted to build a new relationship. 5. Maybe it was none of those reasons!
When I left the top six in League One at Stevenage to join a mid-table club in Preston North End that had been relegated the season before and was spiralling down with 11 defeats in 13, I did get more money. But I didn’t leave Stevenage because of that.
I got on well with my chairman at Stevenage and I was absolutely certain we could have been promoted that season for a third successive time.
My reason for going was that I saw Preston as a club which could realistically progress into the Premier League. I felt that, given time , I was capable of doing the job that needed doing there.
That was all that drove me. I had to face the issue of Preston being a 3.5 hour drive from home. But that was just an obstacle. Not a problem.
Whatever Chris’ reasons, he should be congratulated on being brave enough to take on the challenge.We both got our clubs promoted into the Football League in 2010.He will know the pain that relegation from the Football League would create. To take that on is a courageous decision and you have to respect him for that.
MOVED CLUBS: Chris Wilder