Four managers gone in a week - Hearts' Robbie Neilson says clubs are heading down the wrong road

In a week when three Scottish managers were sacked and one resigned, Hearts coach Robbie Neilson is concerned at the turnover of his counterparts around the country.

Thursday, 17th February 2022, 10:30 pm

Neilson identified continuity and stability as central to success in football after Dundee sacked James McPake, Aberdeen dismissed Stephen Glass and Queen of the South parted company with Allan Johnston. In addition to that trio, Barry Ferguson stepped down as manager of Alloa Athletic.

“It’s the time of year,” said Neilson. “In October you see changes then you get to this time and you see changes. There’ll probably be changes again in March. It’s just what happens. It’s disappointing to see managers lose their job but it’s the nature of the beast nowadays.

“The most important thing in football clubs is continuity. You see at the best clubs that, when you get that continuity, they are successful. The problem we have is that time is not a virtue you get in football.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson hopes clubs get more continuity.

“If you have owners or boards that are strong and give you time then a lot of the time you are successful. If you are chopping and changing every six months or a year, then long-term you are not going to be successful.”

Neilson is now the third-longest serving Scottish Premiership manager behind St Johnstone’s Callum Davidson and St Mirren’s Jim Goodwin. “That’s football. It used to be the average in England was 14 months and it’s down to 11. In Scotland we are slowly getting to that as well,” he said.

“If you are successful and win football matches you will get more time and it’s about building on that. For me, continuity – whether it’s the manager, the style of play, recruitment – that’s what builds success. If you change every year you’re not going to get that.

“You might have six months where it’s good then it falls away and you change again. Very few clubs have been successful doing that. We hope here we have a bit of continuity in the whole club and that’s how you build success.

“When you’re not getting success you need to batten down the hatches and try to get through it as quickly as you can.”

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