Belfast Telegraph

Managers must be given time if fans want their team to be successful

By Graham Luney

We've hit the halfway point of the Danske Bank Premiership season, so what has been your highlight so far?

Perhaps it has been a thumping victory for your side or maybe a spectacular strike.

Gary Hamilton (against Dungannon Swifts) and Jordan Stewart (against Ballinamallard United) certainly served up two peaches.

When I watch Hamilton conjure up magic like that I think I'd rather see him as a player showing his class for a little longer on the pitch rather than look on as he patrols the sidelines.

This brings me to my highlight of the season to date – the fact that no manager has left his club.

Coleraine boss Oran Kearney considered jumping ship but has had a change of heart and I hope he gets the Bannsiders buzzing again.

They certainly displayed plenty of heart and fight against Linfield on Saturday until a late goal from Philip Lowry shattered their hopes of securing a point.

Blues boss David Jeffrey and Ballymena United chief Glenn Ferguson have also encountered a few bumps in the road this season but they have come through them.

However, as the cliches go, the only certainties about football management is that past success counts for little and the 'sack' is down the line.

All good things and partnerships must come to an end.

Portadown manager Ronnie McFall has just taken charge of his 1000th league fixture but even he doesn't have the unanimous backing of the Shamrock Park faithful.

So will the season of goodwill extend to our dugouts?

Hopefully we can avoid the madness that has struck the English game.

Ex-Wigan gaffer Owen Coyle became the seventh boss in eight days to lose his job, bringing the season's tally to 18.

One of them was former Linfield striker Richie Barker, who was sacked by Crawley Town.

In England the average tenure for a manager at a club is 1.72 years!

There is no place to hide when you're a manager but Oran Kearney is right – players need to do their jobs.

It appears that fans and chairmen are losing patience faster than ever before but the bottom line for me is this – success doesn't happen overnight.

Managers need time and supporters, who must always be careful what they wish for, need to keep the faith.

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