Patto the back

So the auction to be assistant manager at Rosie’s testimonial had a serious side, who knows how much Darren Patterson bid, but it must have been a decent whack given he’s secured the job permanently.

A logical move, without doubt. Patterson’s youth team have been absolutely flying, and (say this quietly) – I suspect, had he been in charge at the end of last season we may have stayed up. No criticism Jim Smith; but Patterson was appearing to instil a robustness into the side and would have offered the continuity that was perhaps needed. As Jim said himself, he’s a manager so he was always going to struggle to come in and not influence team direction at such a perilous time.

One of the nagging doubts about the Merry revolution was his assertion that ‘Jim could be manager for as long as he liked’. What would have happened if we’d been languishing mid table this season? This move suggests some succession planning is now being put into place.

The two should work well together; as good a manager as Smith is, he has always worked best in a duo whether it was with Maurice Evans in his first spell at the club, Steve Maclaren at Derby or Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth.

The timing is interesting; Patterson’s reputation is growing and perhaps it’s a defensive move to ward off clubs looking for his services. Perhaps a refresh is needed in the final push for promotion. Perhaps Jim has decided that enough is enough and is preparing Patterson to step up in the summer.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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