How will the new managers fare in the Championship?
With three new managerial appointments in the Championship this month, we have taken a look at how Gerhard Struber, Neil Harris and Michael O’Neill will fare.
Gerhard Struber – Barnsley
Austrian Struber has a massive job on his hands to turn things around at Barnsley this season, the South Yorkshire side having won just once since promotion back to the second tier.
The Tykes are rock bottom of the Championship table with five points between themselves and safety.
Struber took charge of Wolfsberger AC in July and has overseen a decent campaign for the Austrian outfit, who sit third in the Bundesliga and still have a chance of reaching the Europa League knockout stages.
Now the 42-year-old has taken his first job in England and the rigours of the Championship will be apparent soon enough as teams enter the busy schedule around Christmas.
Some suggested Barnsley parted ways with Daniel Stendel too quickly but clearly the hierarchy are looking at Struber as a long-term appointment after he signed a two-and-a-half-year contract.
Stability is what the Yorkshire outfit need but Struber is going to have to do something pretty special to keep Barnsley in the Championship for next season.
Michael O’Neill – Stoke City
Another manager getting to grips with life in the Championship is Michael O’Neill at Stoke City.
The Potters have turned to the Northern Ireland manager after their failed experiment with Welshman Nathan Jones.
There have been some concerns regarding O’Neill juggling the national job with Northern Ireland and his role at the Potters.
However, O’Neill has allayed those fears and with NI not back in action until March, he has plenty of time to work on things at the bet365 Stadium to get the side on the up.
And, there is no reason why he should not be able to do that.
Stoke picked up a 4-2 win over Barnsley in O’Neill’s first game at the helm and, while there will be much sterner tests to come, the Irishman seems to have already boosted confidence levels in the dressing room.
With the likes of Jack Butland, Tom Ince and Sam Vokes in their ranks and skipper Ryan Shawcross on the comeback trail, Stoke should be able to get themselves well clear of the relegation zone in the coming weeks.
Neil Harris – Cardiff City
One man who won’t be content with just Championship survival is the new Cardiff City boss Neil Harris.
Having seen his lengthy spell at Millwall brought to an end, Harris now has a new challenge in the Welsh capital following the surprising departure of Neil Warnock.
Cardiff are seven points adrift of the play-off places but there is no reason why the Bluebirds can’t push for a top-six finish this season.
Harris knows the league very well and with new players to work with, who have had Premier League experience, the South Wales outfit could well put a run together between now and the end of the regular season.
Alex Jack is a Yorkshireman with Scottish connections and well versed in a number of sports. A Leeds United supporter, who also enjoys both codes of rugby. Leeds Rhinos is where you can find him in the summer, while Alex is an avid supporter of Scottish rugby union.