As we all know, football is ruthless when it comes to hiring and firing managers.
A bad run here, a dressing room fall-out there and a manager can be out of the hot seat and into the dole queue before he’s realistically had chance for his PA to get his daily coffee order right.
The manager is gone, but as for the backroom coaching staff – they’ve been there seemingly longer than the club historian!
So much for it being a team game when it comes to hiring and firing eh?
You could argue that an assistant or a coach works only to the manager’s requirements?
Whilst that may have an air of truth too it, a coach only has so many drills he can do and a certain way of delivering them – which seemingly stays the same whilst the latest new manager is pondering between a non-League club with no budget or a shift in their local chicken factory in order to put food on the table.
If you look back down the seasons, the coaching staff has stayed relatively the same whilst numerous managers have come and gone.
I guess there’s actually a whole column that could be written on that subject and the danger of stepping up from number two to number one.
In one role, you’ve got security and very little blame – in the other, you’re the one everyone’s shooting at!
More on that another time, but for now if you need a quick Stags-related reference, I give you Paul Holland.
I’m not laying blame for another failed managerial tenure at the door of the coach/assistant – what I am saying, however, is that change every now and then can only be described as a good thing.
Micky Moore departed the club late last week, a move Murray has already said he would have made at the end of the season.
Moore has done little wrong and is a very popular figure amongst players and staff – having served as both assistant manager and first team coach during his two spells at the club.
Sadly, a minority of ‘supporters’ have slammed both Moore and remaining first team coach Richard Cooper, pretty much ever since promotion, for having no Football League experience, despite having never actually seen either of them deliver a session!
I do see the logic in that, I just think it’s wrong to judge a person’s capabilities without seeing what they can actually do.
In this case, I’m behind Moore’s departure and feel it is an opportunity for Murray to bring in someone with fresh ideas, different experiences – perhaps even change the dynamic of what we perceive as a backroom team, with ‘specialised’ coaches that are capable of working with their particular unit and with the team as a whole.
There is little pressure on Murray now, the play-offs may still be mathematically reachable – but remain as unrealistic as they were a few weeks or so ago.
This is a great time for Murray to say to his players - 99 per cent of whom are out of contract in the summer - show me what you can do. Show me why you can challenge to take this club to League One next year.
It’s a time also for a new backroom structure to be built and new ideas to be implemented.
Perhaps, too, a time for a handful of the youth team starlets to be given their opportunity and address another age old football issue of getting local players through the ranks into the first team.
The development of the youth team has been fantastic, with John Dempster building up his coaching experience working with the youngsters out at Brooksby College.
Like all things that come good in the end, it takes time.
Good things are on the horizon – the real question is, not when will things turn good – but, how much patience have we got?