DERBY County boss Nigel Clough believes that patience is key ahead of a meeting with a club who seem to have a very different philosophy.
The Rams take on Blackburn Rovers at Pride Park on Saturday in the fourth round of the FA Cup, kick-off 3pm.
And while Clough is now the second longest-serving manager in the Championship — and 10th overall in the top four divisions of English football — Rovers are now on their third manager of the season in Michael Appleton, not including the two caretaker bosses they have had.
“He (Appleton) has had three games now, so I suppose that’s settled for them,” said Clough.
“That’s their third manager this season, and it’s not even the end of January, so that’s bound to have an unsettling effect
“The instability around the whole club, I don’t think has helped them on the pitch.
“Chairmans and chief executives, the people who make these decisions, might decide they want three managers in a season, and there’s nothing to stop them doing that if they think it’s to the benefit of the club.
“But perhaps sometimes they should step back and look at the clubs in the top flight who have done really well.
“It seems to be more prevelant in the Championship than anywhere, as everyone is chasing this £60million or whatever it is in the Premier League.
“Everyone is chasing that, and they want it now.
“I think clubs are better when they’re settled, and that’s proven by statistics.”
Derby had their own spell of chopping
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and changing managers when they got through four bosses in under three years between 2006 and 2008, and while that coincided with a spell in the top flight, that was hardly a resounding success, and the club are still counting the financial cost of those years.
Clough said: “We saw a few years ago at Derby that it’s not always the reward that people think it is.
“There are a lot of clubs, like Portsmouth or whoever, who have not sustained it.
“There’s not too many clubs in the Championship who look long-term, not even beyond a season or so.
“You look at Forest sacking Sean O’Driscoll or Southampton with Nigel Adkins, and I don’t know what they’re chasing.
“I just think it’s the nature of football clubs at the moment, and the people who own clubs.”
Appleton is himself on his third club of the season, having been plucked from nowhere to manager Portsmouth before moving onto Blackpool and now Blackburn.
However, Clough believes that he will settle in at Ewood Park and focus on the future.
He said: “He was very, very close to getting his first win (a 1-1 draw with Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday night) and I think he’ll want to settle down at Blackburn.
“And this season or next season, he’ll be building a challenge for them to get promoted again.
“I think it’s important for him and the club to get settled.”