New faces – but they’re among friends

CHRIS LAKEY Peter Grant and old East Anglian derby foe Tony Mowbray have a stunning 1240 career appearances between them - but when they lock horns at The Hawthorns on Saturday they will be mere pups in the world of English football management.

CHRIS LAKEY

Peter Grant and old East Anglian derby foe Tony Mowbray have a stunning 1240 career appearances between them - but when they lock horns at The Hawthorns on Saturday they will be mere pups in the world of English football management.

The appointments of Grant and Baggies boss Mowbray were announced on the same day last month - October 13 - continuing a trend which makes the Championship one of the most precarious places of employment in British football.

Grant and Mowbray may be new faces on the managerial map - but they're among friends.


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Former Celtic star Grant has been in the Norwich hot seat for less than a month, pacing up and down his technical area for just five league matches, but he has already faced three teams who made managerial changes just this summer.

And the trend continues over the next month with City taking on six others who have all made changes at the top this year.

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In his last three games he shook hands with summer appointees - some new to the managerial merry-go-round, some not.

Stoke, Colchester and Sunderland all put new men in place in the summer in the shape of Tony Pulis (June), Geraint Williams (July) and Roy Keane (August).

And over the next six Championship games Grant will face only one manager who was in the post last season - Leicester's Rob Kelly, appointed in January following the sacking of Craig Levein.

Otherwise, it's a similar story, starting on Saturday when Grant faces Mowbray, who was appointed West Brom manager just days after Grant took the Canaries role.

After that it's the trip to Portman Road, where Jim Magilton was installed in June, the same month as City's opponents the following week, Hull, gave Phil Parkinson the job.

Kelly's Leicester side are next, followed by the quick return against Sunderland and then a clash with Sheffield Wednesday, who on Monday made Brian Laws the 30th manager in their long history.

The only managers to have bucked the trend were the first two he encountered as Canaries boss: Birmingham's Steve Bruce, who has been in charge since December 2001 but came mighty close to losing his title of longest serving Championship manager after Norwich's visit, and Cardiff, where Dave Jones has been at the helm since May last year.

Grant may be a newcomer as far as management is concerned - but even before he's managed to get used to life in the fast lane, there have been two other new appointments - Laws and Dennis Wise at Leeds.

It takes the number of teams who have changed manager since the end of last season to 15.

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