Bristol City fan's view with Matthew Withers
DEREK McInnes's reign as Bristol City Manager came to end on Saturday and even though I was a strong supporter of the Scot, after witnessing another abject display from his side, I felt that the decision to sack him was the right one.
It's clear that the board have made the decision with a heavy heart and still had belief in the manager in terms of his work ethos and what he was trying to do at the club.
However, every football manager is judged on what happens when the first-team take to the field and it is a results driven business.
The facts of the matter are that the team was not producing on the pitch and the game against Leicester City was an embarrassment and the last straw for fans and the board alike.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, June 30 2013
I actually left the game five minutes before the end, as I did not want to stay and witness a genuinely nice guy getting booed off the pitch. I have no doubt that McInnes gave his all to the job and I wouldn't be surprised to see him succeed with another team in the future, but for whatever reason, it just has not worked out at Ashton Gate.
In the 15 months that McInnes has been at the club, he has won 17 games, drawn 14 but lost 32. A win ratio of 27 per cent.
We were bottom when he joined us and he leaves us bottom and so tangible progress is hard to see. It is the decision-making of recent weeks which has seen me question his position and having seen how the youngsters Wes Burns and Bobby Reid performed makes you wonder why they have not played more.
It is always the manager that takes the blame for defeats, but to be fair to McInnes there is little he can do when seasoned players like Dean Gerken and Liam Fontaine put in the performances that they did against Leicester.
You have to question why we have not sorted out the defence, a problem that was apparent last season. It's true that no one could account for the total loss of form of Fontaine, but the players that have been brought in at the back are not good enough. The majority of City fans knew that we needed a right-back, two centre-halves, a left-sided midfielder and two central midfielders. What did we get Jody Morris!
McInnes' record in the transfer market was more positive than negative, but for every Sam Baldock there was a Richard Foster. We are also missing a leader in the team and when things have gone wrong on the pitch, no one has really stood up to be counted. The fact that we are the only side out of the 92 football league clubs not to keep a single clean sheet all season speaks volumes.
So who next? The board have to get the right appointment, their record on that front has not been great. We have time to save our season and I feel that we need to go for experience. Mark Bowen, the former assistant to Mark Hughes, has been installed as an early favourite. I don't think we can appoint someone to the role with no managerial experience and who has also been used to failure in the last few roles. Sean O'Driscoll and Steve Cotterill are two likely candidates. I'm not sure that either have the greatest of records. However, what is clear is the style of football that both men have been accustomed to having their sides play and on that alone I would have to go for O'Driscoll. I think he is the man that the majority of City fans would like from reading the forums and talking to other fans.
I'm not sure that the club can afford to pay money for a manager already in work and that would rule out Mark Robins and Paolo Di Canio, should either even be interested. There are others. Billy Davis has the Championship experience, however, his abrasive character may not be one that the board takes to and as I understand it, Davis left Nottingham Forest due to lack of major investment. Many will talk about Gary Johnson or Joe Jordan, but I'm not sure that going back is the way forward, even though John Ward's appointment at neighbours Bristol Rovers may be working.
We need a man who can come in and get the players organised and playing to their strengths. Investment in players is key and someone who is willing to give youngsters a go. The truth is that whoever comes in will need a little bit of luck and has to have players willing to give 100 per cent. At the moment, many of those who are taking to the field have not done that and they are culpable as much, if not more, than McInnes for the failings this season. I'm not going to say who I would like as I wanted Steve Coppell and Derek McInnes and look what happened. So I will trust the board to get it right and hope that we can turn things round and quickly.