FORMER Birmingham captain Martin O’Connor believes Chris Hughton’s departure was inevitable and says that Blues should have had a contingency plan to find a replacement.
The ex-midfielder, who made 186 appearances during six years at St Andrew’s and was the heartbeat of the side that took Birmingham to 2001 League Cup final, says the club’s directors must act quickly to find a Hughton’s successor.
O’Connor suggested Wolves handling of Mick McCarthy’s departure midway through last season is the benchmark of how not to expedite a planned succession.
And while he doesn’t accuse Blues of being equally slipshod, neither does he detect the back-up strategy that would have avoided the current situation where Birmingham are still looking for a boss just a few weeks before pre-season begins.
Birmingham’s search for a manager is progressing, with hot favourite Lee Clark set for a second interview later this week although there is no announcement likely by the weekend.
However, Hughton left the club two weeks ago and O’Connor feels the current scenario should have been anticipated.
“It is an inevitable situation,” he said. “When Chris Hughton was here the club was not in a strong position with rumours rife and with the season the club had on the football pitch, it was inevitable Hughton was going to go, his stock went up so much.
“Anyone who knows anything about football knows Chris Hughton would be linked with other jobs.