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League One

Andy Ritchie's Blog 26

13 February 2013

After winning just once in npower League 1 since November, it really wasn't a big surprise to hear Graham Westley had stepped down as Preston North End manager. Tuesday night's 3-1 defeat at Yeovil Town was obviously the straw that broke the camel's back and Graham decided enough was enough.

I've always believed managers need time to make their mark. Graham was in the job at Deepdale for 13 months and while that's hardly a long spell, even by today's increasingly impatient standards, he clearly felt he reached the end of the road.

Maybe he lost his spark. Maybe he felt he couldn't get a reaction out of the players any more or perhaps the pressure just became too much. Only he will know for sure why he decided he couldn't take the club any further forward but despite the disappointing way it all ended at Preston for him, I would expect to see him back in football sooner rather than later.

Mark Robins is another manager who could be on the move in the not-too-distant future if Huddersfield get their way and manage to prise him away from Coventry City. Nothing's signed, sealed or delivered yet but you do get the feeling that the Terriers are very serious about getting their man.

There's already been a pretty vicious backlash against Mark in certain quarters, accusing him of a lack of loyalty if he does go to the John Smith's Stadium, but I think any criticism is way off the mark.

It saddens me to say it but football just isn't a game of loyalty these days. It's still a beautiful game but it's also a business and that's a fact. Managers sometimes get hammered if they move clubs but it's easy to forget it's just as easy to get sacked as it is to get a new job.

I know it sounds mercenary but managers have to look after themselves, especially if they have the opportunity to work at a club at a higher level with more resources. A switch from Coventry to Huddersfield represents exactly that kind of switch and if he did go to the West Yorkshire club, I'd back him all the way.

It was a good Tuesday night for Scunthorpe United who celebrated their 100th anniversary as a professional club with a 3-1 victory against Carlisle United at Glanford Park. It was a fitting way to mark the milestone but I'm sure Brian Laws was more concerned about the three points.

The result made in three wins in three for the Iron in the space of just seven days and it's a little run that has lifted them out of the bottom three. Scunthorpe have now only lost once in their last eight npower League 1 outings and it looks like they might be timing their little revival to perfection.

It's going to be right old tussle all the way to the end at the bottom of the table but the Iron look like the first team who've made a really concerted push on.

Elsewhere, things got a bit strange on Tuesday when Bury announced that they were releasing Belgian player Jeanvion Yulu-Matondo, just one day after the lad had signed a non-contract deal with the club. I've never heard anything so bizarre.

Apparently he signed on Monday and on Monday night played for the reserves. It obviously didn't go well and on Tuesday he was on his way back to Belgium. Kevin Blackwell hinted that the lad hadn't really pulled up any trees in the match but I'm still flabbergasted at what's happened.

The thing is, he'd been on trial at Gigg Lane for three weeks before signing, so I'd have expected he'd already have played in a couple of reserve games at least before Kevin gave him the nod.

It's a bit of a mystery but I think it's probably safe to say the boy had an absolute stinker on Monday.

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