Five reasons why Kenny Jackett should get more time at Wolves

Wolves Billy Wright Stand

Kenny Jackett faces a fight to keep his job at Wolverhampton Wanderers, but it can be argued that he deserves time to turn things around at Molineux.

 

After missing out on a place in the Championship playoffs on goal difference last season, everyone associated with Wolverhampton Wanderers had high hopes for this campaign, but it has been seven months to forget for the Black Country outfit.

 

However, whether it has been issues off the pitch or poor results on it, not all of it has necessarily been down to head coach Kenny Jackett. The 54-year-old has overseen some bad performances this season, but at varying stages since August, he has seen his options restricted.

 

After a seven-game winless streak in the Championship, Jackett is being tipped for the sack, but here are five reasons why he should be given a stay of execution, at least for the time being.

 

1) The club is up for sale

 

Ever since Steve Morgan announced that he was putting the club up for sale, there has been an air of uncertainty surrounding Molineux, and while it hasn't had a direct impact on matters on the pitch, it has influenced Jackett's movement in the transfer market.

 

Jackett was allowed to spend a sizeable fee on Joe Mason, but that was only a portion of the money that came in for striker Benik Afobe. Two other players arrived, but Morgan needed to be more flexible with the club's transfer budget.

 

Failing to make another significant transfer was effectively acceptance that they were unlikely to mount a sustained promotion push, but that decision did not necessarily fall to Jackett. At one stage, he said that the club were in for a number of players, so why didn't any of the deals get over the line?

 

2) Injuries

 

Manchester United are currently hitting the headlines for the growing injury list at Old Trafford, but is there a team in English football who have suffered so many problems to their key players this season than Wolves?

 

It started with Nouha Dicko in August, who was ruled out for the season with a serious knee injury, and since then, they have been dropping like flies. With most injuries, we haven't been talking a few weeks either. 

 

Jordan Graham is out for up to a year, Kortney Hause missed three months, David Edwards and Michal Zyro won't be back until at least the middle of March and Mike Williamson hasn't played since rejoining the club on a permanent basis. Even goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez was starting to show some form before being sidelined. 

 

Injuries are part-and-parcel of football, but where would Wolves be if everyone was available?

 

3) Mike Williamson

 

Going back to Williamson, his transfer was considered a big deal in January. Wolves have lacked experience at the back all season, and it was no surprise that Jackett snapped up the chance to sign the 32-year-old from Newcastle United.

 

Since returning to the West Midlands, however, he has missed all five fixtures that he could have played in, and Wolves have recorded just two points. Some of their woes has been down to their lack of goals, but slot Williamson in next to Danny Batth and they would have more points on the board.

 

4) Win percentage

 

While Jackett's high win percentage of 47.45% is partly down to his success in League One, it still shouldn't be forgotten that his time at the club has generally been a success.

 

Even looking at Jackett's record with Wolves in the Championship, he has won 40.5% of his 79 games, losing 25. If we view things from a points perspective, he is still averaging 1.49 points per game. When you take into account all of the side-issues that he has had to contend with, that's a very respectable record for a league as unforgiving as the Championship.

 

It goes without saying that things must improve before the end of the season, but his record since the summer of 2014 means that he deserves to be judged on more than a seven-game winless streak.

 

5) Club has little to gain from changing managers

 

Being in a position in the table where you are nowhere near promotion or relegation can be a frustrating time, especially for supporters who want to see their side having something to play for, but it also highlights an opportunity for Jackett to formulate some sort of strategy ahead of next season.

 

Reaching 50 points will be the main priority, but if and when that is achieved, Jackett can start assessing the situation in terms of players he wants to sign and let go, and perhaps giving some more youngsters a taste of first-team action.

 

From the club's perspective, there is little point changing managers when a potential new owner may want to choose his own man. No-one knows how long the sale of the club is going to take, but for now, Jackett is a safe pair of hands. That doesn't sound all that appealing, but Wolves could be in a far worse situation right now.

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