Lee Clark under pressure at Birmingham City?

After his surprise sacking from Huddersfield, Lee Clark's return to management with Birmingham City has not gone according to plan so far.

It is a fact of the modern game that managers are prone to the sack at any time, and Lee Clark knows that more than most. He was fired from his position at Huddersfield with 16 games to go before the end of last season, with the Terriers sitting fourth in League One.

New manager Simon Grayson maintained their fourth place finish, and oversaw a nailbiting penalty shootout win over Sheffield United at Wembley in May, but it did not change the view that Clark's sacking seemed harsh.

When he was chosen by Birmingham City this summer to replace Chris Hughton it seemed all had fallen into place for the manager, but seven games into their league season they sit 19th in the Championship.

Don't forget this was a side who finished fourth in the Championship last season, making the play-offs, yet at present their eight points is just two above Millwall who sit in the relegation zone, and they have exactly half the 16 points leaders Brighton top the table with.

The worries turned into horror at the weekend when Birmingham were thrashed by Barnsley, 5-0, at home where they had previously gained a reputation for being so hard to beat.

This coming weekend the club travel to leaders Brighton knowing another such heavy defeat could spell serious trouble for the manager.

There were rumours on Twitter last night that Clark had already been sacked, but it appears at present there is no truth in such reports. Even so, the whisperings underline the pressure Clark finds himself under so early on into his managerial reign.

The nature of the home defeat at the weekend was terrible for the home fans to endure, and they will feel they are owed a response. Birmingham do not simply want to stand still, they are ambitious and want promotion.

It was for that very reason that Clark was brought it, because he was viewed as the man to carry on where Chris Hughton left off and provide fresh impetus.

It should be important to note that it is early days, but the sight of Huddersfield riding up as high as third in the Championship will not ease Clark's pain. A win away to Brighton at the weekend would do him the world of good, and he will hope to see a response from his players.

However if the form book is anything to go by, it will be very much a home win, and the pressure on Clark will only increase.

Where has it gone wrong for Lee Clark at Birmingham this season?

image: © wonker

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