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Hoops boss Bradley must be given time

“Forget about the results and forget about where they are. “They’re definitely, as a club, going forward. They have a great young manager in Bradser, who wants to do the right things. Let’s give them the opportunity, let’s give them a chance to cement what they want to achieve there.”

Ahead of tonights home encounter with Limerick, Robbie Keane made public his support for Stephen Bradley and the Rovers management team.

With the final games of the first round of fixtures to come this evening, The Hoops find themselves in the unusual position of having lost more games than they’ve won.

Last weekends defeat in Bray raised more questions but Keane, who has been training with Rovers since the beginning of March, believes the right men are in place and patience now will be rewarded with future success.

“There’s no question in my mind after being in there, closely watching it, that this is a group of players and certainly a hungry manager and staff that are desperate to help this team go forward and there’s no question in my mind they will do,” he said.

Limerick will come to Tallaght tonight confident of taking something home after a solid enough few weeks under interim manager Willie Boland.

Unbeaten in their last four league games, they picked up a draw away to Derry during the week and currently boast the second best defensive record after Cork City.

For Rovers, the absence of Trevor Clarke through suspension means a welcome return to league action for Luke Byrne following his year on the sidelines recovering from a cruciate injury.

He was involved in EA Sports Cup win over Bohs on Easter Monday so he should be raring to go tonight.

Michael O Connor also misses out tonight due to his red card last weekend and Paul Corry and Ryan Connolly are still unavailable due to injury.

Whatever happens tonight Stephen Bradley deserves to be given plenty of time.

Those who don’t agree will point at tonights opponents and the upturn in their results since they got rid of Martin Russell at the start of the month.

However Russell had been there almost three years, Stephen Bradley hasn’t even had a year yet.

Constantly changing manager is not the way forward.

While a new gaffer usually enjoys some positive early results which lead to them being hailed as a saviour, old habits usually return.

When a new manager comes in every player ups his game and sets out to impress the new man at the helm.

The players who haven’t had a look in get a lift, the established players get a kick up the arse and for a few weeks everything seems wonderful.

According to a study conducted in Holland, the evidence suggests that in the longterm sacking a manager in does not improve results. Using information from Dutch football from 1986 to 2004, the study found:

“Manager turnover is not followed by significant increases in firm outcomes. In particular, a difference-in-difference analysis reveals that firms who sack managers do even worse compared to those in a control group whose performance is also falling substantially for some period of time. The results are robust for different definitions of the control group and suggest that the small positive effect of manager turnover on firm performance found in the business literature are unlikely to be present in the sample of soccer firms.

“It is also shown that these estimates are not specific to the Netherlands and seem to apply to other soccer leagues as well. In addition, the analysis of the determinants of manager turnover suggests that manager investments (measured by the number of players bought) and the remaining contract length at the time of the dip are the best predictors for forced turnover.”

Football managers need to be judged over time, inexperienced managers need to be given that time.

Patience in football is fairly rare, everyone wants instant success which in turn leads to knee-jerk reactions to results and a return to square one.

Longevity can be the answer to success for a football club but keeping everyone happy during the rough patches is probably the biggest challenge of any long term project.

Hoops v Limerick FC Tallaght Stadium ko 8pm tonight

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About Padraig Conlon

Padraig Conlon
More on Padraig coming soon.

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