Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Mackay hits out at manager sackings

Malky Mackay wants to see managers get given more time to prove themselves

Cardiff manager Malky Mackay has criticised "short-term" attitudes within football after seeing seven of his peers lose their jobs in the last week.

Martin Jol, Dave Jones, Guy Whittingham, Sean O'Driscoll, Richie Barker, David Flitcroft and Owen Coyle have all left their respective positions over the space of the last seven days.

And Mackay, whose own position has been under scrutiny since the loss of his former head of recruitment Iain Moody, has branded the casualty rate among managers and coaches as "really poor".

"I was at an LMA (League Managers' Association) event the other night and (chief executive) Richard Bevan told the assembled group that 27 coaches and managers in the last seven days had lost their jobs," said the Scot.

"That's 27 people going back to their families who don't have work anymore.

"That's really poor, 27 people shown the door. That's disappointing."

Mackay is particularly bemused by the failure to notice the success the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Arsene Wenger and David Moyes have enjoyed when trusted with long tenures in charge.

"The short-termism has got worse," said Mackay, who has been in charge of Cardiff for two and a half years.

"I remember talking to Sven-Goran Eriksson when he was Leicester manager. We were talking about his career and he had five-year tranches at three different football clubs in Italy and Portugal.

"That very rarely happens nowadays. Certainly in the last five or 10 years it has become less and less.

"If you are looking at somebody in a job in the Premier League for two or three years, they are one of the longest serving managers, which is crazy but it's the way it is.

"If you look at the likes of the top sides, Manchester United, Arsenal and Everton had managers in charge for a long period, 27 years, 17 years and 11 years for the three managers.

"Look at the stability and the strength of those clubs over that period, having good people at the top who have got the vision going forward on how the club should be.

"There is no coincidence that there is stability at those clubs."

While displeased at the current trend, Mackay must turn his attention to on-field issues as Cardiff prepare to face Stoke on Wednesday.

Saturday's 3-0 home defeat to Arsenal dropped the Bluebirds to 17th in the table, keeping them level with Stoke three points above the drop zone.

But Mackay insists Wednesday's game, and Saturday's fixture at Crystal Palace, will not prove critical in the final analysis of their season come May.

"The gap between the bottom right up to 10th is minute and I don't see that changing between now and the end of season," he said.

"I have said before that with two weeks to go last season 10 teams could still have been relegated.

"It's about us picking up points and keeping that belief. It is a long-term view I am taking and the group have got belief they can perform at this level, compete at this level and pick up points.

"The last couple of games we have played top teams in this league, but now we are playing teams who are in and around us.

"We all know that counts for nothing. You saw that with Liverpool going to Hull at the weekend. They are both going to be tough games but we will be competitive and do our best to bring points home."

Mackay also confirmed 18-year-old left-back Declan John, who has made one Premier League appearance this term, has signed a new contract to keep him at the club through to 2018.

He said: "Declan is another one of our youngsters coming through and he has had a little taste of first-team action and a little taste of international action which is great for the football club and for him.

"He should be proud of the progress he has made and there is plenty still to come. He is a young talent we want to make sure we have got here long term because we have a lot of belief in him."