When Harry Kewell was sacked by Notts County earlier this week, some fans were shocked and some were pleased to see him go.
After just 14 games in charge, the former Socceroo was given his marching orders having joined the club from Crawley Town just several months earlier.
Kewell, who was dubbed the “long-term solution” upon his arrival at the club, was already faced with a difficult task when he walked through the doors. A high turnover in players in the summer meant the club lost numerous key personnel.
Life started off shakily for Kewell as his side dropped three-straight games, before an unbeaten run of five matches between September and October.
When results began to take a turn for the worse once again, fans quickly upped the pressure on Kewell, but Chris Buckley was not one of the fans to do so.
Buckley, a member of the Notts County fan group, Pride of Nottingham, says he was just as surprised as anyone when the news of Kewell’s departure came through.
“I was surprised, more so than I felt when Kevin Nolan was fired as the Notts manager,” Buckley told dailyfootballshow.com.
“I just didn’t think (owner) Alan Hardy would take that gamble, it’s rumoured we invested big in securing Harry Kewell from Crawley – so that fee seems wasted.
“The fans are the heartbeat of the club and I think most who wanted Kewell gone won’t be disappointed, yet I am as we need stability and he should have been given more time.”
Despite results having gone backwards in the past few weeks, Buckley believed in the long-term that Kewell’s style of football would have seen the club’s situation improve – noting Hardy’s confidence in the former Leeds United player.
“Alan Hardy really hyped him up and I am one of those fans who don’t judge until a manager’s been given chance,” he explained.
“However, it’s struck me that Hardy mentioned he would have given Kewell a five-year-deal and considering the length of time he’s been given it seems a bit rash.
“I mean there’s rumours tied to the departure, isn’t there always with football but I think Kewell’s brand of football could have worked.
“I do feel I expected to see Kewell at least make out the 2018-19 League Two season.”
Right now, the club find themselves in a troubling position, as they look set for a relegation battle for the remainder of the season as they sit just three points above the drop zone.
Despite dark clouds hovering above Meadow Lane, Buckley has a positive outlook on the times ahead for the club, both in the short and long-term.
“Firstly, I hope we appoint a new manager based on his experience and not name or reputation,” he said.
“I would like to see Notts applying their trade in the Championship, however this will never happen if we are not prepared to give a manager long enough to implement their vision or philosophy.
“I hope we can regroup this season in the short term and further down the line challenge to establish ourselves as a good League Two team – then go from there.
“If promotion to League One can be achieved we need to understand how to act as a forward thinking club.”