Injuries were a big factor and a losing mindset had long before set in but whether a team is doing well or badly, the manager – Corberan’s job title is “head coach” but he is that man – has to take a big chunk of the responsibility.
“We make plenty (of mistakes) every single day of our life, whatever job we’re in,” said his Hull City counterpart Grant McCann in Huddersfield’s press room on Saturday evening after seeing his team beaten 2-0.
Our tolerance of mistakes seems lower for football managers than almost any other occupation, probably because to supporters the game means so much, shaping their mood for better or worse until the next matchday. It can see people from young player Bukayo Saka to experienced manager Steve Bruce treated shamefully.
It is why being a manager is such a precarious job. Since he replaced Nigel Adkins in the summer of 2019, Hull fans have never seemed sold on McCann, yet he is the Championship’s fifth-longest-serving manager. To be a stalwart after little more than two years is ridiculous.
In the spring, plenty of Huddersfield fans wanted Corberan sacked, but the Terriers stuck by him and he has learned from his mistakes, buttressing the side defensively and making their play more varied. After four relegation battles, the Terriers are in the early picture for the Championship play-offs.
Sometimes a bit of patience can take you a long way. As it wears thin for managers such as McCann, Neil Warnock, Markus Schopp and Darren Moore the stability Paul Warne has provided Rotherham United is something to aspire to.
Sometimes sacking a manager is necessary. It felt like Bruce’s departure from Newcastle United was in everyone’s best interests. Ploughing on with something you know is not going to work is even crazier than panicking at the first sight of trouble.
But if those who appointed a manager believe in him and particularly if he has a good track record – something Schopp can only call on in Austrian football, it must be said – time to turn things around is more likely to bring success, especially lasting success, than ripping things up and starting again.
New managers can bring freshness to a downbeat training ground and new hope to the terraces.
They give out-of-favour players optimism and remind more established ones to keep justifying their selections.
But they also bring new methods – at the worst-run clubs (and plenty fit into this category) ones totally at odds with what their predecessor worked towards on the training ground and the players he signed.
Those clubs that get away with constant chopping and changing, like Chelsea and Watford, tend to have a pretty constant thread to tactics and recruitment.
Whenever a manager changes, signings are more than likely needed but the budget is eaten into by compensation for sacked staff, and perhaps new ones.
Knee-jerk reactions sometimes allow clubs in danger of going under to tread water although it was no surprise one of last season’s most extreme examples – replacing Garry Monk with Tony Pulis with Neil Thompson with Moore – did not work for Sheffield Wednesday.
But sustained progress? It is much easier with a manager who knows the club, players and the problems they face. Comparing Huddersfield, Rotherham and Simon Weaver’s Harrogate Town with Wednesday and Bradford City will tell you that.