What is it like for a player when a new manager comes into a club?

Despite the 2019/20 season being just seven weeks old, we've already seen eight managers leave their positions across England's top-four divisions.

Sol Campbell kicked things off when he departed Macclesfield by mutual consent after just three games, while Jan Siewert followed after being sacked by Huddersfield a day later.

After Siewert's tenure was cut short at just 207 days, the Terriers were involved in the most significant managerial switch of the campaign so far as they tempted Danny Cowley to West Yorkshire from Lincoln.

Prior to the move, he'd spent over three years with the Imps - transforming them from a club lingering in non-league football to one that in May won the Sky Bet League Two title.

Laurent Banide is the latest on the list after he ended his 100-day association with Oldham on Thursday. The 'managerial merry-go-round' saw Dino Maamria - sacked by Stevenage just a week-and-a-half earlier - brought in as his replacement.

Danny Cowley arrives for his first game as Huddersfield boss
Danny Cowley made the switch from Lincoln to Huddersfield

A change in the dugout is often made in order to improve a team's short-term prospects, with a long-term vision an increasingly rare characteristic of clubs in the modern day.

The biggest impact is arguably on the players. An extended period of time operating under one person, in a certain system, completely changes in the space of 24 hours.

David Prutton, the ex-pro turned Sky Sports presenter, featured in over 440 games across a 16-year senior career and grew used to changes at the top.

At Southampton, Prutton played under six different coaching teams. The most high-profile switches included Gordon Strachan in 2003 to Harry Redknapp in 2004/05 and then to George Burley, before he left in the summer of 2007.

As well as affecting the time he spent on the pitch, Prutton also found that the role he was expected to fulfil changed rapidly, exacerbated by the fact he was always seen as versatile.

David Prutton celebrates a goal for Southampton against Charlton
David Prutton celebrates a goal for Southampton against Charlton

Change can bring opportunity, with those struggling to get into the team given a new chance to impress, but it also brings uncertainty - particularly for those established in the first team.

"There's different schools of thought," Prutton told the Sporting Life Sky Bet Championship podcast.

"One, if you're in the team you want to stay in the team and you're in a position where you can show the manager what you can do.

"If you're not in the team, you're happy that someone else has come in and maybe sees the whole squad with a different perspective and a new set of eyes.

"No matter how old you are, whether you're a young player, in the middle of your career or labelled as a bit more of a veteran, you've still got to make a good impression."

While the tactical side of a team will change when a new manager is brought in, Prutton outlined that maintaining high standards in terms of attitude and performance is always a priority.

David Prutton's final Championship goal came against Burnley in 2013
David Prutton's final Championship goal came against Burnley in 2013

"You've still got to do, hopefully, what you've always done in the sense of your commitment, your experience, your attitude and your conditioning for games is exactly the same and you keep the high levels," he continued.

"You've got to impress him. I've been in a position where that has happened. I've been in a position where you've seem to get a really weird vibe off them straight away.

"Hopefully the manager isn't coming in with any preconceptions that would stunt your ability to get in the side.

"But it's a good opportunity, I've always felt."

The Sporting Life Sky Bet Championship podcast is available fortnightly. Gareth Jones and Tom Carnduff are joined regularly by Prutton and Sheffield Wednesday striker Sam Winnall among others.


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