Every season the Championship has become increasingly competitive in the race to win the £170million promotion to the Premier League.
As a result, clubs have become more and more cut throat when it comes to their managers – so much so that England’s second tier is now close to breaking its own record for the most changes in one season.
As it stands, just four points separate third place and 11th place Preston in the race for the play-off spots, with Vincent Kompany’s Burnley and Sheffield United comfortably taking up the automatic promotion spots.
As a result, all those sides in the race bar Blackburn have made managerial changes. But whilst the battle for the top six has been tense, dismissals have happened all across the second tier.
By the start of October, Chris Wilder’s departure from Middlesbrough saw the tally for managerial changes rise to eight for the season – a record for that stage of the campaign.
Now, following Blackpool’s decision to sack Michael Appleton, the tally stands at 15, with 14 out of 24 clubs making changes with four months of the season still to go.
The record for the most switches in the dugout in one Championship season is 19, which was set in the 2014/15 campaign back when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked by Cardiff before his managerial spell at Manchester United.
So which clubs have made the chop this season and should we expect anymore before May? talkSPORT.com has all the information…
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The story so far
Mick McCarthy’s first game in charge at Blackpool against Huddersfield – who sacked Danny Schofield for Mark Fotheringham in September – was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
But whilst McCarthy has time to turn the Tangerine’s season around, the Terriers still sit in the drop zone and are at risk of dropping to League One for the first time since 2012.
It’s no surprise Watford have contributed to the sacking tally this season.
However, whilst the Hornets board have a reputation for being trigger happy with managers, they’ve made just one change this campaign – although they did dismiss Rob Edwards for Slaven Bilic after just nine games.
Edwards then signed for Watford’s fierce rivals Luton Town, stepping in for Nathan Jones after the Welshman’s first Premier League appointment at Southampton.
It’s actually strugglers Cardiff that have sacked two managers, dismissing Steve Morison and his replacement Mark Hudson and bringing in ex-Nottingham Forest manager Sabri Lamouchi, with Sol Bamba returning to the club as first team coach.
The changes haven’t driven the Bluebirds clear of the relegation zone, and QPR’s change hasn’t seen them progress either with now-Rangers boss Mick Beale‘s replacement Neil Critchley’s side still sitting in 13th.
Rock-bottom side Wigan bringing in Kolo Toure and Stoke City’s decision to appoint Alex Neil from Sunderland following the sacking of Michael O’Neill has had the same effect.
Meanwhile, the Black Cats’ decision to hire Tony Mowbray, Middlesbrough appointing Michael Carrick, West Brom’s choice of Carlos Corberan after dismissing Steve Bruce and Norwich hiring David Wagner after removing Dean Smith, have all paid off.
All those ex-Premier League sides are now pushing for promotion.
Former Hull star Liam Rosenior is also proving to be a good appointment for the Tigers following the sacking of Shota Arveladze, too, with them pushing up the league from 20th to 16th.
Only 10 clubs remain that have decided to stick with their managers: Burnley, Sheffield United, Blackburn, Millwall, Preston, Swansea, Reading, Coventry, Bristol City and Birmingham.
But if recent history is anything to go by, the Championship may well surpass 19 managerial switches.
List of managerial changes so far
- Watford – Rob Edwards → Slaven Bilic
- Middlesbrough – Chris Wilder → Michael Carrick
- West Brom – Steve Bruce → Carlos Corberan
- Norwich City – Dean Smith → David Wagner
- Luton Town – Nathan Jones → Rob Edwards
- Sunderland – Alex Neil → Tony Mowbray
- QPR – Michael Beale → Neil Critchley
- Hull City – Shota Arveladze → Liam Rosenior
- Rotherham – Paul Warne → Matt Taylor
- Stoke City – Michael O’Neill → Alex Neil
- Cardiff City – Steve Morison → Mark Hudson → Sabri Lamouchi
- Huddersfield Town – Danny Schofield → Mark Fotheringham
- Blackpool – Michael Appleton → Mick McCarthy
- Wigan Athletic – Leam Richardson → Kolo Toure
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