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Were Crawley Town too quick to pull the trigger on Barker?

Crawley Broadfield Stadium

Crawley Town parted company with manager Richie Barker on Thursday.

Richie Barker had been manager of Crawley Town since August 2012 after leaving Bury. After guiding them to an impressive 10th place finish last year, they currently lie in 12th place in League One.

It seems that the lack of goals scored have attributed to the sacking of Barker. They have only managed one goal in the last seven league games. Their last win in the league came on the 19th October, a 1-0 home win over Bradford City. They are currently just six points off the play-offs though and it seems a little harsh on Barker. Given that this is only their second ever season at this level in English football, an outsider would say they are performing admirably.

The hierarchy clearly want a change though, and for now scout Martin Hinshelwood and striker Gary Alexander have been put in temporary charge. The immediate favourite for the job is Steve Cotterill. The former Nottingham Forest, Portsmouth and Burnley manager is also a leading contender for the vacant Bristol City job too.

The sacked Bristol City manager Sean O'Driscoll may well be a leading contender to replace Barker. O'Driscoll of course worked at Crawley before, albeit very briefly. He was appointed in May 2012, but left before the season begun to take the manager's job at Nottingham Forest. Current Crawley Director of Football, Steve Coppell may be many people's choice for the manager's job.

Crawley are clearly an ambitious club, as shown with their spending power in the last few seasons to accelerate their rise from the Blue Square Premier to League One. In my opinion I see Crawley Town as a solid League One club now, who shouldn't have any relegation worries. Perhaps the club think they should be further up the table, but with big clubs like Wolves and Preston North End also competing, it is a tough league.

The club's last league match was at home to Swindon Town, and it only saw an attendance of 2,868. So they must be realistic with their current ambitions. Richie Barker can find himself hard done by, but given his success with Bury and Crawley I doubt he will find himself out of a job for too long. He was linked with the Portsmouth job even before departing The Red Devils, and now seems even more likely to take that job. The current Pompey chief executive is Mark Catlin, whom he worked with at Bury.

 

Do you think Richie Barker has been treated unfairly?

image: © yellowbooktld

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