Lee Johnson deserves time to turn things around at Bristol City

by Jack Kitson / 19 January 2017, 12:44

There have been 33 managerial casualties in the top-4 tiers so far this season, and the Championship accounts for 10 of those departures, which is just under a third of the total tally.

Philippe Montanier became the latest second-tier victim last weekend after Nottingham Forest sent him to the guillotine, and we may not have to wait long before another club wield’s the most feared metaphorical axe in sport.

Ipswich Town’s Mick McCarthy is under immense pressure following Tuesday’s FA Cup humiliation at the hands of non-league Lincoln, but he isn’t the only Championship incumbent fearing the sack, with Bristol City boss Lee Johnson fighting for his job this weekend.

Since coming from behind to beat Nottingham Forest on the 1st October the Robins have suffered an alarming dip in form.

That particular victory propelled Johnson’s men up to 5th in the the Championship, just three points off the automatic promotion places, however a subsequent seven points from a possible 45 has seen the Robins skydive down to 19th, just three points above the relegation zone.

During this rotten 15 game run the south west side have lost a staggering 12 games, including the last seven on the spin.

The Nottingham Post have reported that City are eyeing up a move for the out-of-work, and in-demand, Gary Rowett should they dispense of the under-fire Johnson.

An eighth successive defeat this weekend could speed up that process.

City did experience some respite in the FA Cup mid-week after beating in-form League One outfit Fleetwood in a third round replay (setting up a tie with Burnley), but attention immediately turns back to the league weekend for the crunch clash with managerless Forest (next manager odds here).

City may be enduring a disappointing dip, but sacking Johnson is simply not the answer.

Just look at fellow strugglers Rotherham and Wigan - still rooted in the relegation zone -¬†while Birmingham’s bizarre decision to switch Rowett for Gianfranco Zola has produced a tally of zero wins from the Italian’s opening seven games.

On the whole Johnson, 35, has impressed since his move from Barnsley, and deserves time to turn things around.

However, this is the chaotic Championship we are talking about - a division notorious for ditching gaffers at the blink of an eye…and he will no doubt be feeling the heat ahead of Saturday’s visit to the City Ground.

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Gary Rowett
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22nd May
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