Leeds boss: Changing managers won’t guarantee success

Leeds United's Manager Brian McDermott, counting down the minutes to the end of the match at The Den.
Leeds United's Manager Brian McDermott, counting down the minutes to the end of the match at The Den.
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BRIAN McDermott hit out at the dwindling lifespan of Football League managers as he and Leeds United set their sights on ruining Steve McClaren’s Derby County bow.

McDermott described as “ridiculous” the turnover of coaches in England after a week in which Derby sacked Nigel Clough and replaced him with former England boss McClaren.

Clough lost his job last Saturday following four years at Pride Park – more than twice the average tenure of a Championship manager – and McClaren will take charge tomorrow having watched from the stands during a frantic 4-4 draw with Ipswich Town on Tuesday.

McClaren’s last managerial job in this country, at Derby’s bitter rivals Nottingham Forest, ran for only 10 league games and he was employed as a coach at Queens Park Rangers prior to the agreement of a deal with Derby late on Monday afternoon.

McDermott, who has been in control of Leeds for less than six months and was forced to ride a spell of pressure last month, voiced admiration for McClaren but admitted he was surprised to see County dispense with Clough so early in the season.

“Nigel’s a legend at Derby and he did really well at Burton too,” McDermott said. “Sometimes managers don’t get time. It’s all about results and that’s the business we’re in but clubs who change managers regularly generally aren’t as successful as they could be.

“In this day and age the average manager in the Championship lasts for 14 months or something ridiculous like that. Those are the stats and you’ve got good managers going out of football.

“If you don’t last for 50 or 60 games you can be lost to the game forever. That’s the harsh reality.”

McDermott and his players answered criticism of their own results by closing out a 2-1 win over Bournemouth on Tuesday night, their first victory since a convincing performance at Bolton Wanderers on September 14.

“I woke up on Wednesday morning and thought ‘good job well done’,” he said. “I thought we played well.

“I’ve seen the stats and we were good value. We could have won by three or four but the only thing that mattered was to win the game and get out of the run of not winning games.

“We want to follow Bournemouth up with another positive result now. You could see there were nerves around the place on Tuesday but the lads tried to play and pass the ball around. This squad can go to Derby, put on a performance and get a result.”

McClaren involved himself in Derby’s midweek clash with Ipswich by heading into the dressing room at half-time and making changes with County in danger of a heavy defeat. His new club fought back from 4-1 down to snatch a point and they go into tomorrow’s match with a record of nine successive victories in clashes with Leeds.

“We know what their personnel will be and you can’t make too many changes in a short space of time,” McDermott said. “We’ll be ready.

“But Steve’s been to the top level in his career. He went abroad and not many English managers do that with the success he had.

“He’s done the hard yards and I have to say that when you look at a career like his, for me it’s really important to do those 10,000 hours. A lot of people don’t do them and often they fall short.

“His record says he’s a good manager.”

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