Young guard making Championship football a tougher tactical battle, says Hull City's Liam Rosenior

A new wave of coaches have made the Championship's tactical battles much harder in the last 12 months, according to one of them.

Second-tier clubs are increasingly leaning towards young and innovative head coaches as opposed to grizzled old managers.

Hull City's 39-year-old coach Liam Rosenior, just over a year into his first "permanent" post, is a case in point, as is his opposite number on Friday, Bristol City's Liam Manning. Likewise Hull’s Boxing Day and New Year's Day opponents, Sunderland's Michael Beale (43) and Sheffield Wednesday's Danny Rohl, the division's youngest manager at 34.

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"Last season was tactically an easier season than this one," says Rosenior. “Steven Schumacher's just gone in at Stoke, Liam's gone in at Bristol City, Michael Beale's gone in at Sunderland, the list of younger head coaches is endless. It's like a battle between us to see who can come through tactically.

"I think now there's an understanding at Championship level that you have to develop players and maximise the group’s potential, not just win, because winning is a biproduct of performance."

The average age of Championship managers has dropped in the last 12 months from 44.9 to 42.8. This time last year six were in their 50s, now it is just former Huddersfield Town managers Mark Robins and David Wagner.

Rosenior believes it is reflected in how the game is being played.

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"Compared to 10 years ago there is so much more emphasis on possession, on build, on dominating territory, it's not just about winning a fight any more," he argues. "You see teams with two, three four, five different structures in and out of possession. When I was a kid it was 4-4-2 against 4-3-3 in and out of possession."

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