Pres­sure cranks up on man­agers

The Football League Paper - - DAVID CONNOLLY -

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.

Chal­lenge

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.

Ex­cel­lent

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

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