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City earn praise from LMA chief

City’s loyalty towards head coach Lee Johnson has earned praise from League Managers Association chief executive Richard Bevan.

In a time of constant managerial change, the life expectancy for those in the hotseat remains incredibly short – around 15 months on average in the English leagues.

Speaking in the wake of Walter Mazzarri’s departure from Watford – the 41st boss to lose his job in 2016/17 – Bevan used City as a positive example to other clubs.

“I think clubs that succeed after sacking tend to be the exceptions and not the rule,” Bevan told BBC Radio Five Live’s Sportsweek programme. “The 12 English clubs that have had ten or more managers since 2008, I think it is, of those clubs seven of them suffered relegation in the last three seasons.

“A really good example I like is an up and coming 35-year-old manager Lee Johnson. He had a very difficult period earlier in the season suffering eight successive defeats with Bristol City, but the owner stood firm behind him and they took 20 points in their following 11 matches.”

“There’s also Eddie Howe, who has finished in the top ten of English football for the first time in history and he has been there for over four years. Sean Dyche has overseen Burnley’s highest league finish since 1975 and he has also delivered off the pitch as I think they were the fifth most profitable club in Europe.

“The pressures continue to make it very challenging to survive, although the numbers are an improvement on last year with 41 managers and 120 coaches, compared to 58 and over 150.

“Finding those short-term solutions to long-term problems for clubs does create a very tough working environment and survival is often seen as an achievement, but we have some great talent out there working very hard.”

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