Sadness At Cluster Of Departures

Farewell Time As Results Deteriorate Further

Paul Simpson in happier times.

Amid the pleasure we find when highlighting the successes of former Wolves men in managerial and coaching positions elsewhere comes the need to also sometimes look at the other side of the coin.

And it’s sad to be reflecting on how four figures closely associated with Molineux in past decades have left their jobs this weekend.

Mick McCarthy’s sacking has been widely reported following Cardiff’s latest Championship defeat but what has gone more under the radar is the fact Paul Simpson has left Bristol City and apparently Keith Downing, too.

First things first: We are encouraged by the fact ‘Simo’ is already being linked with the managerial vacancy at his home-city club, Carlisle – a development that suggests he has recovered well from the cancer treatment he received several months ago.

But there will also be professional disappointment at how the West Country experience has proved a very difficult one for he and his fellow assistant head coach – in terms of results at least.

Bristol have endured a nightmare run of 17 home games without a win in League and cups and are in the second grade’s lower reaches following a shambolic defeat at one of Downing’s former employers, Albion, yesterday. Neither was present at that game.

The former Molineux duo survived the managerial change at Ashton Gate in the middle of last season, with Nigel Pearson appointed as successor to the man who appointed them, Dean Holden.

But the further letdown marked by results at the start of this season has prompted a reshuffle, although Downing’s exit has not yet been confirmed.

He and Simpson previously worked together at the FA and had success in major age-group tournaments with England without losing the yearning for day-today involvement on the training ground.

McCarthy’s departure from Cardiff was much less of a surprise, with the writing on the wall following the awful run of defeats this autumn – and talk of him having two matches to save himself after the South Wales derby against Swansea last weekend.

Both ended in defeat, without a goal scored, the sequence of eight successive losses adding up to the worst spell in the club’s history.

Mick McCarthy during his six-year reign at Molineux. Picture by Rob Clayton.

Terry Connor, the man who has been with the twice former Republic of Ireland manager since they linked up together at Wolves in 2006, has also left and we now wait to see whether that is the end of the line for the two Yorkshiremen, as a duo at least, or whether they refuse to accept this embarrassment as their parting shot.

Thomas Publications