Why Barnsley’s Markus Schopp and Tottenham’s Nuno Espirito Santo were shown the exit door – Sue Smith

Normally when it comes to football managers, I am one of those arguing for people to be given more time but when it came to Barnsley, making a change felt like the right thing to do.

I was working on Sky Sports News when word came through on Monday that Markus Schopp had lost his job as coach at around the same time Tottenham Hotspur sacked Nuno Espirito Santo.

Nuno had only been in charge for 124 days, Schopp for 125, and the similarities did not end there.

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In both cases it looked like the players were not enjoying the training or tactics and when that happens to a manager it can be very hard to turn around.

Barnsley manager Markus Schopp meets fans before the match against Bristol City at Ashton Gate, his last game in charge. Picture: Simon Galloway/PA

At Oakwell, you could hear the unhappiness, with Callum Brittain questioning Schopp’s training methods.

Add in Devante Cole’s comments after the Sheffield United game about how the fightback from 3-0 down to 3-2 was everything to do with the players – so nothing to do with Schopp – and it was clear the Austrian did not have the squad on his side.

The supporters of both clubs made it clear they had had enough of the new men too.

I had a lot of sympathy for Schopp. Losing the club’s best player, Alex Mowatt, to West Bromwich in the summer and not getting the experienced replacement he wanted was tough, and the disruption did not end there.

Hull City manager Grant McCann speaks to Sean McLoughlin during Wednesday's match against West Brom at The Hawthorns. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

Losing the chief executive, other coaches, including Adam Murray, and striker Darryl Dike at the end of his loan, new signing Josh Benson getting Covid and picking up an injury on his return, work permit, then fitness issues for Obbi Oulare and Aaron Leys Iseka, and injuries to Mads Andersen and Carlton Morris made it tough.

Even the new chief executive, Khaled El-Ahmad, said he felt sorry for Schopp not being able to bring in his own coaching staff.

Sometimes the assistant takes training, and others have different but just as important roles, so having to entrust that to someone you do not know or do it yourself is not easy.

But when the players lose faith, it can be very tough to get back.

Nuno Espirito Santo was sacked as Tottenham Hotspur manager earlier this week. Picture: John Walton/PA

Just as Spurs acted decisively because they do not want to miss out on qualifying for the Champions League, Barnsley would have been worried about relegation from the Championship.

Nuno was the Premier League manager of the month for August, but as soon as results turned, players would have had it in the back of their minds that he was the sixth choice for the job. Schopp had a good playing career and some success in management but was unproven in English football. It made it hard to bring the players with them when results were poor.

As players, you should give your all for every manager but we are human and sometimes you need to believe.

When I played for Leeds United I was a winger or a No 10 whose whole game was about attacking, but our coach Rick Passmoor wanted myself and Jess Clarke – now at Sheffield United – to tuck in tight on either side of a 4-4-2 and leave Ellen White and Carla Cantrell to bang in the goals.

It was not how I wanted to play, and maybe if another coach had asked, I might have been reluctant but I trusted Rick’s opinion and knew what a good coach he was.

Sticking to his gameplan got me a League Cup winner’s medal and the chance to challenge the top sides in women’s football.

That is why the trust between players and manager is crucial.

It seems to be there at Hull City. I saw them recently at Luton Town and although they did not play very well, it was clear they were still behind Grant McCann.

The owners are too, standing by the coach when they were relegated 18 months ago, and seeing him win League One last season.

The problem at Hull is the fanbase clearly do not believe.

The big thing for McCann is likely to be the proposed takeover by Acun Ilicali, now doing his due diligence. It is hard to see a change before that goes through, and hard to see McCann staying unless Ilicali has the same faith in him the Allams appear to.

Without the belief of the players, fans or owners, even the best managers will struggle.