Date:Monday January 16 2006
Speculation is growing that Craig Levein could be just seven days away, or even less, from being replaced as Leicester City's manager.
In other words, that he has one game, Cardiff City at home, to show he is capable of extracting the club from the worst position in their history.
It won't be easy. Cardiff smashed Burnley 3-0 at Ninian Park on Saturday helped by two goals from former Rangers striker Steve Thompson who was making his debut.
Cardiff are eighth in the table and three points off the play-off places so it's a big game for them too. They have 41 points from 29 games and won four of their away games. Indeed they have taken points from half of their 14 travelling matches.
Our view was that Levein might get until the away Plymouth game on Tuesday, January 24, but that was before the calamatous defeat at Sheffield.
Now it seems hard to imagine the board would dare to wait longer than Saturday's match before changing direction or declaring unequivocably that Levein was being backed until, say, the end of the season, whatever happens.
We have heard nothing officially or otherwise to change that view but the Clubcall website has quoted 'sources' as saying Cardiff is the crunch and that, if we lose, the deed will be done.
Those sources are, inevitably, anonymous but logic suggests a statement must be made soon because the contined speculation, and the call on Foxestalk for a fans protest after Saturday's match are all likely to detract from the need to get behind the team.
We are now, of course, in the bottom three. What happens if we win against Cardiff but are still in the relegation places?. Or if we draw?. How close to the end of the transfer window will the Board risk going before taking action or saying something to the fans?.
And if they do nothing before the window closes will there be any point at all in making managerial changes when Levein knows his squad better than any incomer?.
The speculation grows. The Board would be remiss not to be working on possible alternatives but the decision is still not one to be taken lightly because there is no margin for error now.
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