Lee Johnson has been given permission by Barnsley to speak to Bristol City about their vacant managerial role.
Here are five reasons why it would make sense for Johnson to stick with his current club ahead of a move up a division:
Barnsley still have an outside chance of achieving promotion…
Before we even begin, there is a massive caveat - Barnsley are currently five points away from sixth place with six teams in their way. That is a huge gap to make up and even then they would be entering the play-off lottery. However, on the run of form the Tykes have been on it would be no shock to see them involved in the promotion conversation come the end of the season. Johnson has got his team playing exceptionally well and they would be a challenge for any team in the top six.
...while Bristol City could quite easily go down
After tearing League One apart last season, Bristol City were outside tips to do something of note in the Championship this campaign. All they have managed thus far is to struggle to exit the relegation zone. They have won only one of their last six. The January transfer window is now closed, so what Johnson would have available to him would essentially be the current squad. Yes, they may only be in the relegation zone due to goal difference, but switching Yorkshire for the south west is a huge risk.
Changing jobs too often damages a manager’s reputation
The example of Michael Appleton should be fresh in Johnson’s mind currently. Highlighted as a young coach with significant potential, he took the Portsmouth job in 2011. Less than a year later he was in charge of Blackpool. Within 11 games he had swapped out the last four letters of his team’s name to take charge of Blackburn, and by the end of March 2013, a spell of only 15 games, he was looking for work. It has taken until now and an extended spell in charge of Oxford United for him to restore his standing.
The possibility of winning a trophy at Wembley should not be ignored
Something that seems to be forgotten all too often these days is the fact that the game is ultimately about glory. Those singular moments of brilliance and achievement outrank any number of ground out 0-0 draws in a successful relegation battle. On Thursday night Barnsley beat Fleetwood Town to secure a place in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final. Very few managers get the opportunity to win a trophy at Wembley. Johnson should not pass it up for pastures new.
Barnsley have stuck with Johnson despite a poor run
Loyalty goes a long way in football in both directions. The Tykes hierarchy owned up to their recruitment mistakes in the summer, backing Johnson in October to turn around their season and end a run of eight league losses on the spin. He did so in dramatic fashion at Oldham, debutant Kevin Long scoring in the last minute to earn a 2-1 win. Johnson should take his own club’s lesson and learn from it, offering Barnsley the same loyalty that they gave to him over a tricky patch.