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Culpable Swansea City Admit Michael Duff Was A Big Mistake . . . After Sacking Him

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By Paul Jones

Swansea City chairman Andy Coleman has admitted the club got it horribly wrong in appointing Michael Duff, who they sacked as manager late on Monday night.

Leam Richardson, Nathan Jones and Osian Roberts lead the early betting with Welsh bookmaker DragonBet as the Swans prepare to replace Duff after a run of just one victory in his last eight matches.

In statement that was surprisingly blunt and honest by football’s standards, Coleman – who only took up his role at the club in May – confessed he had come to the conclusion that Duff was not a wise choice to replace Russell Martyin in the summer.

In a one telling quote within the club’s lengthy statement, the American businessman said: “I will learn from the experience of these last several months.

“My appreciation for how critical the Swansea identity is to this club has grown since the summer and it will be high in my mind as I make the decision on our new head coach.”

It was as close an admission to an appointment howler that any club is likely to make, with the character, the methods, and the footballing philosophy of Duff all at odds with the style of management that has proven successful in the past.

He might have got past that for a while longer had his results been better, but the he 45-year-old departs after a winless run of five games and only one victory from their past eight after their recent 1-1 draw against Huddersfield left them 18th in the Championship.

Duff was appointed in June, having led Barnsley to the League One play-off final last season, and was in charge for less than six months.

The assistant head coach Martin Paterson follows Duff out of the club with immediate effect, while fellow assistant head coach Alan Sheehan will take caretaker charge.

Coleman, released a statement on the club’s website, which read: “This was a very difficult decision and one that was given considerable thought and attention.

“I acknowledge that there has been a significant amount of change at the club, both on and off the pitch, during Michael’s tenure. I consistently asked for patience as we gave him time to implement his plans and bring the squad together.

“Unfortunately, we have seen neither the results that we expect nor the progress from the squad that we need. I believe it is now in the best interests of Swansea City to make a change of head coach.”

“I have the greatest respect for Michael as a person and as a leader. I know how hard he and his staff have worked throughout this season for Swansea City. I want to personally thank Michael, Martin, and their families for the sacrifices they have made on behalf of this club and this city.

“I know that Michael will be successful in his next opportunity and on behalf of the Board and the entire club, I wish him and Martin only the best in their future endeavours.

“I understand how important it is to reconnect the leadership of Swansea City Football Club with its supporters. That is one of the primary reasons why I moved here with my family this summer.

“Being present in Swansea matters, but so does taking responsibility. I will learn from the experience of these last several months. My appreciation for how critical the Swansea identity is to this club has grown since the summer and it will be high in my mind as I make the decision on our new head coach.”

The trio of managers that head the odds list as Duff’s replacement are all currently out of work.

Richardson was sacked by Wigan Athletic last year, just six months after leading the club into the Championship as League One champions.

Jones – born and raised in the Rhondda – had significant success in two spells at Luton Town but was sacked by Southampton last season after just three months in charge, during a season which ended in relegation from the Premier League for the Saints.

Roberts built his reputation within the FAW, firstly in charge of the Wales age-group teams and then as assistant manager to Chris Colemand with the senior team as well as technical director.

He left to take up a similar role in Morocco before most recently coaching in the Premier League as assistant to Patrick Viera at Crystal Palace until the pair were dismissed in March.

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