Two wins from 13 games isn’t the sort of record that Paul Heckingbottom would have hoped for heading in to the match against his old team at the weekend.
There has been no progress since the former Barnsley head coach took charge, with no real plan seemingly evident to address the rot that set in at the end of Thomas Christiansen’s reign as manager.
The question becomes whether the current boss deserves the summer in order to stamp his own mark on the squad and prepare for a better season next campaign. Here are three pros and three cons for sticking with the man in charge:
1) He knows the players and is in a good position to make judgements on who to sell and buy in the summer. The squad clearly isn’t good enough despite a good start to the season so Hecky should be given the opportunity to create a team in his own image.
2) We are yet to see how a Heckingbottom side at his best could look like. The team he took over was low in confidence, and combined with a host of injury problems, the hand he has been dealt has been a poor one, and he’ll need more time to show what he can do.
3) Like players, some managers need a bedding in period before they can establish their style of play and implement their training methods. He had a slow start at his last job Barnsley so perhaps he needs more than a few months in order to get this team where he wants it to go.
1) There has been no discernible change in form, or improvement in the attitude of the players since the gaffer’s arrival in February. He is failing to inspire the team, and it could be argued that his predecessor was able to get better performances out of the squad. He may not have the man management skills to improve the team.
2) If he is failing to improve results in the short term, what prospect is there that he’ll imporve things in the long term? Giving Hecky the summer to rebuild the team could lead to the same results next campaign. It would mean another disappointing season for the Whites.
3) He doesn’t have the backing of many in the fanbase. To be successful, the whole club has to believe in what the manager is doing. If there is a lack of support in his management from the outset next campaign, we are already starting off on the wrong foot. A fresh start with a new manager with clean slate may be a better solution.