Grezza sees pressure first hand

Graham Alexander
Graham Alexander

The pressure to succeed is something Fleetwood boss Graham Alexander knows only too well – having seen one of his long-term contacts in the game among the latest managerial casualties.

Russ Wilcox departed Scunthorpe United last week, handed his marching orders despite masterminding a record-breaking run which took the Iron up last term.

More than a dozen managers have left their post since the start of the season, with Watford on their fourth boss since January.

In the past two weeks, Town have played Port Vale, who parted company with Micky Adams in September, and Colchester United, whose manager Joe Dunne left by mutual consent in the same month.

Yesterday Nigel Worthington, who led York to last season’s League Two play-offs, only to be pipped to Wembley by Fleetwood Town, became another casualty along with Rob Edwards, another close friend of Alexander who had been in charge at rock-bottom Tranmere for a mere matter of months.

Fleetwood’s has the backing of his chairman at Fleetwood, having secured promotion last season. But he knows only too well the pressures at the top.

“I wouldn’t say it’s this division – I think it’s right across football,” said the Fleetwood manager.

“I’d like to see what’s happening in Sunday League football because there’s pressure all over the place.

“There’s huge pressure from the Premier League to League Two, probably down to the Conference as well.

“It’s unrelenting and there’s nothing we can do about it other than try to win as many games as possible. You can’t think about it too much.”

Wilcox’s departure particularly disappointed Alexander. Scunthorpe’s unbeaten run in the second half of last season – the longest ever under a rookie manager – secured them automatic promotion from League Two.

Former Iron player Alexander knows Wilcox well having worked with him at Burnley and is struggling to understand Scunthorpe’s action.

He said: “I was gutted for Russ because I’ve known him a long time.

“I don’t know how you can do the job he’d done and not be allowed to see the year out.

“When we played them last year, we knew who their best players were and now he hasn’t got them available.

“Yet they’re still expected to step up a level and pick up wins.

“From the outside looking in it seems to be not a harsh decision but a silly one. I’m gutted for him.”

Wilcox has been replaced at Glanford Park by another of the season’s managerial casualties – Mark Robins left Huddersfield just one game into the new campaign.