Huddersfield Town have finally appointed a new manager, with Mark Robins taking the hot seat three weeks to the day after Simon Grayson was sacked. Robins joins after leaving his job at Coventry City, where he had been in charge for just five months. In that short time though, he took the Sky Blues from the League One relegation zone to play-off contenders, taking 44 points from his 25 games in charge.
He has signed a rolling contract at the John Smiths Stadium, which strikes me as a bit odd from his point of view. For Huddersfield Town, it’s a great deal, as chairman Dean Hoyle won’t be faced with a hefty compensation bill if it doesn’t work out. For Robins, it’s a strange one. He was five months into a three year contract at the Ricoh Arena, so to ditch that security for the uncertainty of a rolling deal seems a little odd. Unless, of course, he will earn more in a year at Town than he would in three years at City! Either that, or he feels as though he had to leave City after expressing his desire to join Town.
Hoyle always maintained that he wouldn’t rush into an appointment, and the fact that he has taken three weeks suggests that he is finally happy with the chosen candidate. After all, he has paid a “six figure sum” to release Robins from his Coventry contract. And considering some of the managers that were linked to the club are out of work (Adkins, Coyle, Nicky Butt), he must be confident that Robins is his man, especially after paying somewhere between a hundred grand and a quid short of a million for his services!
There is no doubting Robins’ credentials. He did an outstanding job at Rotherham, almost leading them to promotion in 2008-09 despite starting the season with a seventeen point deduction. He spent two and a half years at the club, before moving to South Yorkshire rivals Barnsley, where it’s fair to say that things didn’t go quite as smoothly. Having said that, he did keep the Tykes in the Championship, but he resigned at the end of the 2010-11 season, citing differences with the board as the reason for his departure.
He was out of work for sixteen months before Coventry took a chance on him earlier this season, and he has shown the potential that was evident in his time at Rotherham. Thirteen wins and five draws have followed from his twenty five matches in charge, and he has also taken the club to the area final of the Football League Trophy, and a glamour tie at Arsenal in the League Cup, not to mention a trip to White Hart Lane in the FA Cup. City are understandably furious that Robins has left, considering he was out of work for a considerable amount of time before they hired him.
He has plenty of experience in the dugout, with over 250 games to his name, and a very decent win ratio of just over 40%. His first game in charge will be in front of the ITV cameras on Sunday, when Town host Premier League side Wigan Atheltic in the FA Cup fifth round. It would be a hell of a start to his tenure if he led the club into the quarter final for the first time in over forty years!
So, how do I feel about the appointment? Erm, well, a little bit “meh” to be honest. I mean, it’s not exactly an appointment that gets the pulse racing. I’m not overcome with excitement like I might have been with, say, Nigel Adkins. But then I’m not completely outraged like I would have been if Gary Megson had got the job! Having said that, I am now completely behind him, as he is now one of ours. It might be a good thing that it’s not a particularly high profile appointment; there is less hype around the appointment, and hopefully he can just go about his job quietly, and get us up the Championship table.
Written by James Bartaby, We Are Going Up’s Huddersfield Town blogger
James tweets at @jamesb5374