It Could Be Better If We Still Had Brown

Last updated : 18 March 2010 By Tom Collins

There are no guarantees that Brown would have taken City down. Recent stirring home displays offered hope that City could accrue the required points to edge out Wolves and Burnley. But he's been sent packing, replaced by a manager with a patchy recent record that looks to be a panicky last roll of the dice by Pearson to save him from making major financial sacrifices in the summer.

If an Alan Curbishley or Mark Hughes were waiting in the wings to take over, then things would be different. At least we'd have a proven operator, and a marked improvement on Phil Brown's abilities.

This is not to denigrate Iain Dowie, who has a reasonable record in management, but his spell at Coventry is of real concern to me. Given total control at a big Championship club, the Northern Irishman struggled and was sacked within a year. I really expected him to push the Sky Blues towards the Premier League. Now he has another chance to manage in that division, an opportunity he has not really earned.

Brown himself can have no complaints about the dismissal. He had plenty of time to build a team and get the points needed to stay in a job, and he failed. However, this could be seen in November, and if the change had to be made, then it should have happened then.

Does Dowie have the time to turn things around? He certainly doesn't have time to make wholesale changes to the side. He will hopefully use his coaching skills to shore up a leaky defence and get the Tigers playing with more confidence and belief, particularly away from home.

Pearson is gambling that the 'new manger syndrome' kicks in, boosting City's results in the short term to allow us to sneak to safety. Could Brown have produced such an upturn in results? It's impossible to say now, but I don't envy the extremely difficult position Dowie has been placed in. I wish him luck - he's going to need it.