Pressure cranks up on managers
FROM the Premier League to League Two, the last week has been a managerial nightmare for those sides on the slide. Phil Brown lost his job at League Two Swindon after a miserable run of form.
Just two home league wins – their opening two games against new boys Macclesfield and Tranmere – from eight outings wasn’t a good enough return and left fans with precious little to cheer about.
Despite overseeing a huge turnaround in the playing staff, albeit with a reduced budget, Swindon were expected to be challenging for a play-off spot.
There is no doubt the Robins’ poor home form was a factor in declining attendances and with a new £6m training ground planned, chairman Lee Power knows his Swindon side have to be challenging further up the table if the club is to go in the direction he wants.
Richie Wellens has been handed the task of reviving the Robins, signing a deal until May 2020, and becomes their fifth manager in just three years, although the length of contract seems irrelevant as Brown signed a similar deal in the summer.
Former Oldham manager Wellens has said their league position is ‘embarrassing’.
However, pre-weekend, they were only two wins off ninth, where they finished last season, and seven points off the final play-off place occupied by Mansfield, who had won only one game more.
Shrewsbury also made a change by sacking John Askey, who had only joined from National League winners Macclesfield in the summer.
The home fans made their feelings known last Sunday after their 1-1 FA Cup first round home draw with ambitious National League outfit Salford City. It proved the final straw.
Four wins from 17 league games was scant return for a side who finished third in League One last season.
Following such an excellent season under former manager Paul Hurst, who moved on to Ipswich, was a tough ask.
Indeed, it seems both Askey and Hurst, who was axed by the Tractor Boys last month, may have been better off remaining in their previous roles, although the lure of managing higher proved too hard to resist for both.
Meanwhile, Harry Kewell lasted just ten weeks after leaving Crawley to take over at Notts County. Kewell was keen as mustard when he made the move, saying that managing was ‘ten times better than playing’, though I doubt he will be feeling the same now. He will no doubt return, though, if he keeps that enthusiasm.
The new manager bounce, often cited as a reason to make a change, never materialised at Notts and, after reaching the play-offs last season, they look in terrible trouble just outside the relegation zone.
Relegated Chesterfield’s struggles in the National League this term have no doubt increased the scrutiny on those at the foot of League Two.
Indeed, the pressure on managers in all divisions to get rapid results seems to be increasing.
EXIT: Notts County boss Harry Kewell