Middlesbrough, Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United benefitting from good leadership – Sue Smith

I often think it is more important for a football club to have a good manager than good players.

TOP MAN: Manager Chris Wilder has had an immediately positive impact at Middlesbrough  
Picture Tony Johnson
TOP MAN: Manager Chris Wilder has had an immediately positive impact at Middlesbrough Picture Tony Johnson

Bradford City thought they had one in Derek Adams, who took Morecambe out of League Two last season and was confident he could do it again with a bigger budget at Valley Parade.

But now the Bantams are looking for their ninth different manager (Stuart McCall has done it twice) since Phil Parkinson left in 2016.

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I saw again at the weekend what a difference a really good manager makes when I covered Middlesbrough’s 4-1 win over Derby County. It was hard not to be impressed as they scored four goals for the first time this season against a Derby team who have been scrapping so hard.

Paul Warne should be considered for jobs at bigger clubs given the success he's had at Rotherham United Picture: Bruce Rollinson

I was struck by how quickly Chris Wilder has imposed his ideas since coming in as manager in November and I know it is not the full style that was so great to watch at Sheffield United with overlapping centre-backs but that takes time. Most of the important elements like intensity and fitness are already there and they were creating overloads on both sides of the field.

You wonder what more they can achieve as he has more transfer windows to shape the squad.

Already he has been clever in the loan market, bringing in Florian Balogun, who is a threat, and Aaron Connolly, who had a bit of a point to prove. Add clever creators like Matt Crooks, and it looks a good squad. I think Boro will definitely get into the play-offs.

It is the sign of a good manager that he can go into a club and get the best out of the players so quickly. He has shown in the past what a clever man-manager he is.

NEXT IN LINE: Huddersfield Town coach Carlos Corberan has been touted as a successor to Marccelo Bielsa at Leeds United Picture: Tony Johnson.

Compare Middlesbrough with the team they knocked out of the FA Cup, Manchester United – brilliant individuals unable to get anywhere near their potential. Boro are massively in form who look like they really believe in what Wilder is telling them.

The best managers get clubs punching above their weight and you can see it at Huddersfield Town and Rotherham United too.

Those teams stick to their way of playing. When Derby equalised on Saturday, Boro just kept going and Isaiah Jones was on another level. Derby had to take poor Craig Forsyth off.

Carlos Corberan has been linked with succeeding Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds United and it is no surprise when you see Huddersfield’s spirit and togetherness.

Sacking Derek Adams earlier this week has left Bradford City looking for their ninth manager since 2016. Picture: Bruce Rollinson

Winning games is so much more difficult with a group of individuals.

The Terriers have done a great job of getting players in who fit the way they want to play and coaching them well.

Everyone is writing them off for the play-offs and it probably gives them a bit of motivation but Huddersfield have been up there all season so it is no fluke.

Paul Warne is a bit like Burnley’s Sean Dyche in that he does not seem to get linked to “bigger” jobs. It is not that I want him to leave Rotherham but managers like that should get more recognition. Instead, the same old names coming around again.

Maybe they get typecast as playing direct football. Like Corberan, Warne plays to his strengths and if he has good players who are strong, powerful runners, why not use them?

In choosing Adams’s replacement, Bradford should not look at what people have won, but how much they improved their teams.