IT took Simon Grayson just 19 days to find a new management position after being shown the door by the club he had joined as a teenager.
Dismissed by Leeds United at the start of February, Grayson made a quick return to the dugout, replacing Lee Clark at West Yorkshire rivals Huddersfield Town.
When Grayson arrived, the Terriers were fourth in the table, seven points shy of second-placed Sheffield United. Huddersfield lost four of Grayson’s 16 league matches in charge to finish fourth, nine points adrift of the Blades, who narrowly missed out on automatic promotion.
Ripon-born Grayson is aiming to claim a third promotion from League One, having led Blackpool, via the play-offs, and Leeds out of the division in 2007 and 2010 respectively. His win ratio at Elland Road was nearly 50 per cent.
Danny Wilson’s appointment as Sheffield United manager last summer was an unpopular one amongst the fans due to his previous affiliations with the Owls, who he played for in the 1990s and managed.
But he has silenced the critics and a victory over Huddersfield in the second all-Yorkshire final will see them return to the Championship at the first attempt.
Wilson has brought stability to Bramall Lane, transforming the club’s fortunes on the pitch. United have scored almost 100 goals this year and their attractive brand of football has captured the imagination of the fans. Some of his signings; Kevin McDonald and Lecsinel Jean-Francois, have been superb.
I’ve marked Grayson and Wilson both eight out of 10. Both are capable of making decisions which could influence the final outcome but, ultimately, it is about which team rises to the occasion.
Overall, including the managerial ratings, United and Huddersfield score 91 out of 120. It is too close to call!