Owls: Sacking Irvine was one of hardest ever decisions, says Mandaric

Chairman: Sheffield Wednesday's Milan Mandaric.
Chairman: Sheffield Wednesday's Milan Mandaric.
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SHEFFIELD Wednsday chairman Milan Mandaric said today that the sacking of Alan Irvine was one of the hardest decisions he has ever had to make in football, writes Paul Thompson.

For full story, reaction and more, see The Star tomorrow, Friday, February 4.

But he felt it was necessary in an attempt to improve results and boost hopes of automatic promotion.

Mandaric said: “From the first day that I met Alan Irvine, it was clear he is an honourable man who would work tirelessly to take this club back into the Championship and I admired the dedication and commitment Alan showed to the job.

“Unfortunately, the results did not follow. We have yet to win a league game since I came into the club, we have conceded a lot of goals and we were not picking up the points.

“That took us away from our objective of automatic promotion at the end of the season. We were sliding down the table and now we have to look up and the club has to move forward.

“I said when I arrived at Sheffield Wednesday that I would make some very tough decisions and the decision to part company with Alan is one of the hardest I have had to make throughout all my time in the game. But every decision I make is for the good of this club, not Milan Mandaric.

“Changing the manager was the last thing I wanted to do when I bought Sheffield Wednesday. I supported Alan from the first day and I supported him significantly in the January transfer window.

“We brought five new players into the club because we are desperate to get out of League One and back into the Championship. We have quality in the squad but it is not the biggest and Alan deserved the chance to strengthen the squad and show that he was the right manager for Sheffield Wednesday.

“But the performances were not consistent and the results were bad so although it was such a tough thing to do, I had to make the change.

“I have to emphasise now that we are not writing off this season. Promotion was the target when I bought the club and promotion is still the target now.

“We are also through to the fifth round of the FA Cup so if anyone thinks we are writing this season off, they could not be more wrong.

“We move on to the next stage and that means recruiting the right manager to take the club where I want it to be and that is into the Premier League.

“I know the supporters have big ambitions too and that is the way I like it. I said in December that we will drive this club forward together, achieve success together and that very much is still the case.

“The fans trusted me when I bought their club and I ask them to keep on trusting me now because we will get this right. This is a big boat we have here and there will be some choppy waters on the way but trust me, we will get to the other side.”