BOSSES ON THE MOVE AGAIN
AN EAST Midlands revolution stole the show as the managerial merrygo-round picked up speed again after a February lull.
Blackburn’s Owen Coyle was the only EFL boss to lose his job in February, but March has already seen five casualties.
Following the earlier departures of Russell Slade (Coventry), Graham Westley (Newport) and Alex Neil (Norwich), Steve McClaren, 55, was shown the door by Derby County last Sunday.
It brought the former England manager’s second spell in charge to a halt after just five months in charge. Although results improved on his return to Pride Park, a run of one win in nine Championship matches ultimately proved costly as owner Mel Morris lost patience.
“Steve is a great coach, we have very talented players and first class facilities but the heartbeat, commitment, focus and passion has been lacking something fundamental,” said Morris.
“The Brighton game on Friday night (McClaren’s last game in charge ended in a 3-0 defeat) was so far from what we expect to see from those wearing a Derby County shirt.
“…We need a manager who shares our values and who is prepared to develop the team, staff and processes that will set us on course for a sustainable place in the Premier League. We are less concerned about timescales than we are about getting things right.”
The Rams wasted little time in appointing former Birmingham boss Gary Rowett as their new manager on Tuesday on a deal until the end of the 2018-19 season.
The 43-year-old played for Derby in the mid to late 90s and believes he can be the man to maximise the East Midlands club’s potential.
“We know there is a talented group of players here and I am thoroughly focused on just finding that right balance and those right ingredients to get the best out of them,” he said.
“I want to impart enough of my knowledge on to the team and encourage them to put in the kind of performances that the supporters want to see and the type of energy that can go with some of those talents.”
Rowett’s first match in charge was yesterday’s derby against arch-rivals Nottingham Forest, who were also set to parade a new manager in the form of exBrentford and Glasgow Rangers boss Mark Warburton.
Like Derby, Forest have had their fair share of managers in recent times. This season, Philippe Montanier was in the hotseat until mid-January. Gary Brazil took the reins as interim manager when the Frenchman was sacked and in early February it was announced that he would remain in charge until the end of the season. But with the Reds just two points above the drop zone after a dip in form, owner Fawaz Al-Hasawi decided to draft in Warburton to boost their chances of staying up. The 54-year-old, who has signed a two-and-a-half year contract, said: “We are where we are in the table. We need to secure the points we need for safety, and then our job has to be to look at the squad and to have a strong pre-season.” Meanwhile, fellow Championship outfit Wigan Athletic sacked manager Warren Joyce, 52, last Monday after only four months in charge.
The former Manchester United U21 boss had taken over from the axed Gary Caldwell in November, but won only five of his 22 league games in charge to leave the Latics languishing in the relegation zone.
Latics chairman David Sharpe said: “It is unfortunate that we have made this decision but with the team in such a perilous position in the league, we need to act now because we cannot afford to fall any further behind.
“…Results and performances have simply not been up to standard often enough in recent matches.” Assistant boss Graham Barrow, 62, has been made interim manager for the rest of the season.
NEW BOYS: Gary Rowett, left, and Mark Warburton faced off yesterday Insets: Steve McClaren, top, and Warren Joyce