Monday, December 22, 2008

Hughes not on the hot seat

I expected a Black Monday type of scenario today the way texts and emails flooded in following yesterdays defeat - particularly when the morning started with a call from Xfm to provide some comments regarding the 'Hughes situation', yet it has been strangely quiet around the media.

Rather than just being 'coming out fighting' words, it does seem Hughes's comments have a ring of truth in that he is being backed by the board and busy preparing for the January sales and given that there has not even been a whiff of a 'Hughes out' report in the press today suggests that his position is very much safe.

In fact, Paul Aldridge also spoke out in support of Hughes today, with a very public backing:

"Clearly no one is comfortable where we are but I think the new owner is very pragmatic and understands things don't happen overnight and that it will take time for Mark to build the team, the squad and the ethos of the club how he wants it."
Opinion in the City blogosphere is split pretty evenly at the moment, with some being for the sacking of Hughes, and some taking a more patient line.

Managers clearly get less time these days to get things right (1.53 years being the average tenure of a Premier League manager) and the desire for instant success has only been intensified given the takeover has provided us with the 'world's richest club' tag, which was expected to bring with it the accompanying rewards of such a status.

Of course it has not happened as advertised, yet comparisons to Paul Ince at Blackburn are unfounded. Whilst we, like Blackburn are in the relegation zone, the concern tht Blackburn had with Ince was whether or not he could hoist them out of trouble. With Hughes, he surely has enough experience, pedigree and track record to warrant a greater deal of time in the job.

One good point that Jack made in his excellent recent post was that Hughes is very much a Garry Cook guy (having brought him into the club) and given the status and influence Cook holds within the club it is unlikely he will be keen to get rid of a manager that he trumpeted upon his arrival.

Sure he is under pressure (and perhaps the next three games have a 'must win' feel to them), but even given our current predicament, I would be amazed if was not our manager come the end of the season at the very least.

vote it up!

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