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Saturday 21 September 2019

Managers back from the brink

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic witnessed a spectacular fightback at Tottenham
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic witnessed a spectacular fightback at Tottenham

Slaven Bilic was spared further misery when West Ham launched a spectacular Carabao Cup fightback at Tottenham to drag him back from the brink of a crisis.

The Hammers were trailing 2-0 at Wembley on Wednesday evening during a week the manager himself had described as "do-or-die" before Andre Ayew's double and a winner from Angelo Ogbonna eased the pressure for a few days at least.

Here, Press Association Sport takes a look at managers who have dug themselves out of a hole and gone on to prosper.


Ferguson, then plain old "Alex", found himself a target for the terrace boo boys in January 1990 as he took his Manchester United side to Nottingham Forest for an FA Cup third-round tie on the back of an eight-game winless league run. United chairman Martin Edwards was reportedly ready to wield the axe should the worst happen at the City Ground, where substitute Mark Robins' headed winner ensured it did not, and we all know what happened next.


Kendall found himself under intense pressure as Everton went into League Cup quarter-final battle with Oxford at the manor Ground in January 1984. The Toffees were trailing 1-0 with time running down when Adrian Heath pounced on Kevin Brock's under-hit back-pass to level and spare a manager who went on to guide the club to two league titles, the FA Cup and European Cup Winners' Cup success.


Steve McClaren incurred the wrath of one particularly disgruntled fan, who hurled his season ticket in his direction during Middlesbrough's 4-0 home defeat by Aston Villa on February 4, 2006. Boro had won just one of the 10 previous Premier League games, a run which included a 7-0 defeat at Arsenal, but went on to reach the UEFA Cup final at the end of the season, with McClaren being appointed England boss.


Former Italy manager Conte won his first four games in charge of Chelsea, but reports emerged that owner Roman Abramovich was less than impressed by what he saw in the 2-2 draw at Swansea and 2-1 home defeat by Liverpool which followed. He need not have worried - a 3-0 reverse at Arsenal on September 24 last year was followed by 13 successive Premier League wins and the Blues went on to win the title by seven points.

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