Five under fire Football League managers to keep an eye on this weekend

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 12 October 2016, 15:58

Ahead of the weekend’s action we take a look at five Football League managers who find themselves in a spot of bother. The Championship has recently seen a trio of casualties and we could be set for another one or two very soon. Meanwhile, a few League One and Two gaffers are also feeling the heat at the moment as they head into the latest wave of matches desperate for a potentially job saving victory.

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Alan Stubbs (Rotherham)

During the international break the Championship witnessed three managerial casualties, with Roberto Di Matteo (Aston Villa), Paul Trollope (Cardiff), and Nigel Pearson (Derby) all ejected from their respective dugouts.

Alan Stubbs could well become the league’s fourth victim this weekend should rock-bottom Rotherham fall to their fifth consecutive defeat. Since switching the second-tier of Scotland for the English equivalent Stubbs has notably struggled, with the Millers registering just the one win from their opening 11 games, with that sole victory stretching back nearly two months.

Unfortunately for Stubbs and his error-prone troops, who have conceded a league high 25 goals, they face high-flying Norwich at Carrow Road on Saturday. The in-form Canaries are soaring up in 2nd, winning six of their last seven league and cup matches, while they’ve got won their last five consecutive matches (in all competitions) in front of their own fans…

Philippe Montanier (Nottingham Forest)

Philippe Montanier is another Championship head coach who was appointed in the summer, but after an impressive start - five wins in seven league and cup matches - Nottingham Forest have since failed to win any of their last six league games, while they were booted out of the EFL Cup by Arsenal.

As a result Forest have slipped down to 18th in the table, leaving the club just four points above the relegation zone. On top of that Montanier was hit with a two-match ban (and £3k fine) earlier this week, meaning he’ll have to sit in the stands for Friday night’s televised clash at home to Birmingham.

Should Forest fall to a sixth defeat of the season Montanier is unlikely to be instantly axed, however should the club’s poor form continue on Tuesday, at fellow strugglers Blackburn, that then he’ll be hovering nervously on the metaphorical tightrope.

Luke Williams (Swindon)

Dropping down into League One - a division that has witnessed two managerial casualties so far this term - we take a look at Swindon Town’s Nathan Williams who has suffered criticism following the club’s poor start to the season.

Williams has taken responsibility for the club’s below-par performances on the pitch, which have been disappointing, with the Robins dangling just one place above the relegation zone - on goal difference - with a dozen points from 12 League One games.

On Saturday Swindon travel to AFC Wimbledon where they go looking for only their second away since February. With a league win rate of just 20% this season Williams is undoubtedly feeling the heat, and while he is likely to be given more time - he was handed a whopping five-year contract in March - defeat this weekend could be damaging.

Phil Brown (Southend)

Phil Brown has been in charge of Southend since March 2013 making him the fourth longest-serving manager in League One. During that time Brown has led the Shrimpers up to the third-tier (in 2014/15), before preserving their status with a 14th place finish.

However, the current campaign has been drenched in disappointment. Southend, who lost in the opening round of the EFL Cup, are third from bottom with just 12 points from 12 games. The club have lost nine of their last 11 games on the road (including last season), while they currently have the worst goals against tally in the league, having conceded a whopping 23 goals so far.

Brown has insisted that he won’t walk away, while the club’s chairman, Ron Martin, has backed the Blues boss to propel the club out of their slump. But, as we have seen so many times in the past, a number of managers have lost their jobs after receiving the dreaded vote of confidence…

Paul Tisdale (Exeter)

Eight defeats in 12 games leaves Exeter City second-from-bottom of the Football League, with only Newport beneath them, and the Welsh club have played two games less.

Goal shy Exeter’s home form as been a major problem, with the Grecians picking up just two wins on their own patch in 2016. It’s perhaps fortunate that the club’s next game is away from home, at Barnet on Saturday, although a ninth defeat in 13 will only pile the pressure on Tisdale.

Boss Paul Tisdale, the Football League’s longest-serving manager, recently called on fans to help inspire his strugglers out of their rut, but a number of supporters have been doing the opposite, instead protesting for the 43-year-old to resign after 10 years at the helm.


Managers Departed

Last man down

Gary Caldwell
(Wigan Athletic)
25th October


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Coventry City

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Grimsby Town

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Manchester United

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Milton Keynes Dons

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Rep of Ireland

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Wigan Athletic

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Wolverhampton Wanderers

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Premier League

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