Write Neil Warnock off at your peril. The wily fox is the big climber as we rank all 19 mid-season Championship manager changes in 22/23.
This article was initially posted in March. This updated list proves that a lot can change in two months and this is especially the case in the second tier.
Disclaimer: I’m only considering permanent manager changes, so Noel Hunt’s blushes have been spared. And with that… here we go!
19) Neil Critchley to QPR (19)
Poor old QPR. Got ditched by one of Steven Gerrard’s friends – Michael Beale – and replaced him with another in Critchley. While Beale enjoyed a dream start at Loftus Road, Critchley was sacked after two months, having won just one of his 12 games in charge.
18) Kolo Toure to Wigan Athletic (18)
You could really flip a coin to separate the bottom two managers. Toure took over a team in freefall following Leam Richardson’s exit and the Premier League winner was dismissed after he failed to win any of his nine games at the helm.
This was an appointment that made little sense and Wigan were not in a position to ride out the Toure experiment. His successor fared slightly better, though.
17) Mark Fotheringham to Huddersfield Town (17)
This was another puzzling appointment.
The ex-Hertha Berlin coach took his first managerial role at Huddersfield Town after former player Danny Schofield was sacked before he really had the chance to get going.
Fotheringham enjoyed a positive result here and there (five wins in 21 games), but Huddersfield were no better off under him than they were before.
16) Mick McCarthy to Blackpool (15)
Warnock has proven that there is life in the old dog yet, but the same cannot be said for McCarthy, who may have reached the end of his tether as a Championship manager.
The 64-year-old guided Blackpool to two wins from his 14 games in charge and he did not even see out the season as they ended up five points from safety in 23rd.
15) Chris Wilder to Watford (13)
The ex-Sheffield United boss took a bit of a punt when he grabbed the reins at Watford with just two months of the season to go.
He was tasked with getting the Hornets into the play-off places, but they fell well short of that. He won just three of his 11 games at the helm as Watford finished 11th. He’s since been replaced by Valerien Ismael, while Wilder is dropping down to League One to join Reading.
14) Slaven Bilic to Watford (10)
Bilic was actually afforded a decent amount of time to get things right at Watford, but he was dismissed after 26 games in charge with a 0-0 home draw against Preston being the final straw.
The 54-year-old was hamstrung by player injuries during his time at Vicarage Road. But 10 wins in 26 is not good enough and he left Wilder with too much to do during the run-in.
13) Alex Neil to Stoke City (12)
Neil accepted a more lucrative/long-term contract to leave a club on the rise – Sunderland – to take over at Stoke in August, despite the latter becoming an increasingly mediocre Championship side in recent times.
The 41-year-old is a respected manager at this level but he was unable to put a stop to their slump as they were made to settle for a fourth straight underwhelming bottom-half finish.
12) Mark Hudson to Cardiff City (11)
With the Welsh side slipping into a relegation battle in September, Cardiff’s board turned to club legend Hudson, who was given the tough mission of getting a team close to his heart out of trouble.
It would have been a great story had he managed it. But football is cruel and he was sacked after guiding his team to just four wins in 18 games.
11) Shaun Maloney to Wigan Athletic (9)
Wigan’s club legend edges out Cardiff’s, despite the Latics suffering relegation. A lack of investment cut the strugglers adrift and their situation was worsened by a six-point deduction.
But Maloney’s results (four wins, eight draws and six defeats) were not too bad given the circumstances. He is admittedly facing an uphill task next season as Wigan will start the campaign on -4 points.
10) David Wagner to Norwich City (6)
Jurgen Klopp’s former right-hand man was drafted in to succeed Dean Smith, who really should have been let go earlier than December last year.
Seven wins in 21 games for Wagner is steady but not remarkable and the pressure is already piling on the German following their season-ending six-match winless run.
9) Gareth Ainsworth to QPR (16)
The rocker remained unnervingly cool during the run-in, despite the Hoops sleepwalking into the relegation places.
QPR could only win one of his first 10 games in charge but their squad was a level above their struggling rivals and in the end, they got the points required to stay up. Ainsworth’s first task is complete but bigger tests lie ahead next season.
8) Liam Rosenior to Hull City (4)
Aged 38, Rosenior is one of the youngest managers in the Championship and he is so far making the most of his opportunity at Hull City.
The Yorkshire outfit were battling relegation when he took over but they ended up stabilising around mid-table. Hull will be a team to watch next season under their up-and-coming coach.
7) Carlos Corberan to West Brom (3)
Like Norwich City with Smith, the Baggies endured a drawn-out managerial relationship with Steve Bruce. This finally ended in August after he won just eight of his 32 games in charge.
Corberan masterminded their rise up the table but they ended up plateauing around the middle. He will be expected to mount a serious challenge for promotion next season unless he is poached by former club Leeds United.
6) Sabri Lamouchi to Cardiff City (8)
Having previously done a solid job at Nottingham Forest, Lamouchi has returned to the Championship to become Cardiff’s third manager of the season.
He guided the Bluebirds to six wins and two draws in 18 matches to keep them up with a couple of games to spare. It is concerning for Cardiff that he is not staying on and it’s puzzling that Steve Morison (yes, who they sacked last September) could be returning.
5) Matt Taylor to Rotherham (5)
There were bound to be a few teething issues for Taylor to overcome after replacing Paul Warne, who had become synonymous with Rotherham after nearly six years as manager.
A team built for the now-Derby County boss took time to get accustomed to Taylor’s methods, but with the help of a great January transfer window, things came together for the Millers’ new manager.
Rotherham stayed up with a game to go and this was a great achievement for the renowned yo-yo club. Taylor’s aim next season will be to stay up again, which will be easier said than done given the standard of the clubs promoted from League One.
4) Tony Mowbray to Sunderland (7)
After spending far too long in League One, the Black Cats would have no doubt accepted a dull mid-table season in 2022/23. But as I predicted last July, they have a squad capable of achieving much more.
Sunderland fell short in the play-off semi-finals to eventual promotion winners Luton but this was still a superb season for the North East outfit. Reports linking Mowbray with a summer exit were thankfully premature as the veteran is doing a great job.
3) Michael Carrick to Middlesbrough (1)
On early evidence, Carrick is on track to enjoy a superb career in management. After enjoying a positive short spell as caretaker boss at Man Utd, he replaced Wilder at Boro following his predecessor’s ugly exit.
Boro were well-fancied to get promoted before this season started. While Wilder could not get the best out of their talented squad, Carrick did just that as they shot up the table at a rapid rate.
Middlesbrough’s season ended on a sour note with play-off heartache, but they will be battling for automatic promotion under Carrick next season.
2) Neil Warnock to Huddersfield Town (14)
Warnock rolled back the years to pull off another three-month salvage job. Seven years after doing it with Rotherham, his heroics plucked Huddersfield out of the relegation places.
He gave Huddersfield’s players the belief they desperately needed to turn around their season after they looked all set for relegation. Seriously, what a man.
1) Rob Edwards to Luton Town (2)
After being unfairly sacked by Watford, Edwards joined their rivals Luton Town when the very unpopular Nathan Jones took over at Southampton.
Some felt Luton could only go backwards following Jones’ exit, but Edwards somehow managed to make them even better.
The Hatters battled Sheffield United for automatic promotion for longer than they had any right to and they got over that disappointment to earn promotion in style via the play-offs.
This time last year, Edwards had got Forest Green promoted to League One and now he’s heading for the Premier League. A stunning achievement for a 40-year-old who is scarily only just getting started in the management game.