Sturrock sacking story can soothe Mandaric

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Milan Mandaric has come under fire from fans over the sacking of Gary Megson but it is nothing compared to what followed Paul Sturrock’s dismissal in 2006.

The exit of the popular Scot who led the Owls to play-off final glory in 2005 provoked a demonstration outside Hillsorough before the next home game and chants against the then chairman Dave Allen during the match, a 3-2 win against QPR.

But by the end of the season harmony was restored.

There are striking parallels between Sturrock, Megson and what happened in their departures. If Mandaric studies what happened six years ago it could give him some comfort after this week’s flak.

Sturrock, like Megson, was liked by fans - his popularity stemming from victory against Hartlepool in Cardiff in the play-off final.

As with Megson, Sturrock’s relationship with the Owls hierarchy - then Allen and chief executive Kaven Walker - broke down, and like Megson he was fired after a run of results was regarded as not having come up to expectations.

“You make to make tough decisions,” said Allen at the time - a similar view has been expressed by Mandaric.

Sturrock, like Megson, thanked the fans for their support.

Brian Laws replaced him and the furore died down after results picked up.

The team had been struggling early in the season but they put together an 11-match unbeaten run, including five successive wins, and ended up only two points outside the Championship play-offs, going into the last two games.

In the end Allen could understandably say that he got the managerial change right.

There had also been those who had regarded the 2004 sacking of Chris Turner after only nine league games as premature. No-one would ever know if Turner would have taken the club up, but Allen hired Sturrock and he certainly did.

The lesson? That Mandaric is within his rights to ask fans to trust him and we’ll see what this season brings.