Championship a ruthless place for managers, says PNE boss

Simon Grayson
Simon Grayson
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Preston North End boss Simon Grayson believes that the Championship is becoming a ‘ruthless and relentless’ division to manage in.

Eight clubs in the second tier have already parted company with their manager or head coach with the season just a third of the way through.

Blackburn, the visitors to Deepdale today, are one of those clubs to have made a change.

Paul Lambert will lead them for the first time against PNE having succeeded the sacked Gary Bowyer earlier this week.

Grayson said: “The Championship is a ruthless and relentless place to manage in, probably not the best place to be if you want stability in your job.

“Unfortunately, managers aren’t given the time to implement their ideas.

“I have been here getting on three years and have been given every opportunity to ride out a couple of dodgy spells that we have had – every credit to those people who work above me.

“You look at Gary Bowyer’s recent record, in the last three games before he left, Blackburn had taken five points from a possible nine.

“That is not a bad return in the Champiosnhip, two clean sheets, an away win at Leeds and a draw with Birmingham.

“The pressure is there in this division because everyone wants to reach the promised land of the Premier League.

“That isn’t easy because only three clubs can get promoted.

“Clubs have to be realistic and have their own ambitions, not have ambitions which they cannot maintain or reach.

“Certainly football clubs are sacking managers when they haven’t given them the financial opportunity in the first place.”

Grayson, meanwhile, says he is unlikely to do any incoming business before the close of the loan window next week.

He is content that the squad has the numbers and quality to see them through to the January transfer window.

“I think we are okay in respect that when everyone is fit, we have got some good quality,” said Grayson.

“We were stretched over the last few weeks but came out of it with some good results and performances, especially at the back end of the pitch.

“The loan window shuts next week, we will analyse it to see if we need to do anything else, but I don’t think we will.

“Paul Huntington is clear of the niggling injury he had for a little while and Tom Clarke isn’t far away.”

Jermaine Beckford and Chris Humphrey remain PNE’s long-term casualties.

Beckford’s return after knee surgery won’t be until after Christmas.

Said Grayson: “He saw the specialist on Monday who is pleased with how it is going.

“We are still a bit away from when Jermaine can come back to us and we won’t rush him.

“It will be after Christmas, that has always been the timescale. How long after Christmas, we will wait and see, it might be a few weeks or a couple of months – it was a difficult operation.”