Stafford Rangers 0 Us 1

Darren Patterson was considered to be under pressure prior to Saturday’s win over Stafford. Not that he seemed that concerned; happy, as he was, to transfer list (albeit rightly) Yemi, a clear fan favourite.

Despite nailing Saturday’s result, he was still subject to debates like
this one
. It centres around the idea that both Patterson and Jim Smith have taken charge of the same number of games this season which is the perfect opportunity to assess our progress.

The headline statistics have Patterson fractionally behind. But its too simplistic a view – it doesn’t consider the teams that were inherited, their relative form, who they played, the time in the season and so on. To judge a manager over a short period of time is crazy, there are too many factors to consider.

Changing manager is the easiest, most decisive thing a chairman can do. It protects his neck. But it introduces much greater risk. You’re replacing a known with an unknown; as tempting as it might be to do this, constant panic and change is not going to help us meet our objectives.

It will take 2 years to really judge Patterson as a manager. At this point, contracts he has inherited will have run out, replacements bought and bedded in. Precious few managers are given such a chance, of course, but at some point we’re going to have to bite our lip and allow a transformation to happen. Otherwise it will be purgatory for the rest of eternity.

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Oxblogger is a blog about Oxford United.

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