ADRIAN BOOTHROYD has launched a fierce attack on Premiership chairmen for putting "ridiculous" pressure on struggling managers.
The Watford boss and former Town player admits he has been shocked by the number of top-flight coaches to have lost their jobs this season, making a thinly-veiled attack on fellow strugglers Charlton and West Ham.
Eggert Magnusson, the new Hammers owner, gave Alan Pardew just four games to prove his worth, while the Addicks have made the ex-Upton Park chief their third manager of the season after dismissing Iain Dowie and Les Reed.
Now Boothroyd has urged chairmen to show more patience if they want to bring success to their clubs.
"I find it quite sad and quite ridiculous that managers get put under so much pressure so quickly," said Boothroyd, whose side host Wigan tomorrow.
"When you hear the statistics about how many managers have gone this season, both in the Premiership and in the lower leagues, it's just outrageous.
"If you don't think someone is good enough to do the job, then they shouldn't be employed in the first place - it's as simple as that.
"Stability is always the key. Steve Bruce was on his way out at Birmingham just a few weeks ago because they had a couple of bad results but they stuck with him and now they are top of the Championship.
"If you look at the Premiership, the successful clubs are always the ones who keep changes to a minimum.
"Arsenal, Manchester United and clubs like that know that managers need time to get things right."
Boothroyd is thankful that the close bond he has with chairman Graham Simpson has allowed him to escape speculation over his job prospects.
Watford have collected just 11 points from their first 19 games back in the Barclays Premiership, but Boothroyd is convinced his supporters in the boardroom will give him time to reverse the club's fortunes.
He added: "Being sacked has never even entered my head. Nobody can set higher standards for Watford than me and if I let the pressure get to me then I probably wouldn't do my job as well.
"It's a benefit that we are stable and I'm very lucky to have a chairman and a board who are very sensible people. I have shown them what I can do and they know the club is evolving.
"I have a good relationship with the chairman. I invite him down to the training ground once a week and we have a chat. I think it's important everyone at the club knows what is going on and that there is no smoke and mirrors.
"We are not on a slippery slope. The ground is being redeveloped, the team is full of young players who have come from the academy and we know where we are going.
"Nobody is saying that we aren't frustrated with how this season has gone but if we had a real goalscorer in the team then we probably would be talking about Europe rather than relegation."
While Boothroyd is seeking survival, another ex-Town player in charge of a Premiership club, Bolton's Sam Allardyce, could be forgiven for thinking about the Champions League.
Wanderers are flying high in fourth place in the Premiership following four successive victories.
Unsurprisingly, the prospect of Champions League football for next season is being talked about ahead of tomorrow's visit of another side riding high - fifth-placed Portsmouth.
While it is an exciting, enticing prospect, Allardyce knows he has to be guarded against such enthusiasm.
"We have to live with the greater expectations we have built year in and year out," he said.
"I'm glad to say in the main we've gone beyond their (the supporters) expectations and dragged them up to a new level.
"It's difficult to maintain, although at the moment we are. But we cannot get carried away because this is only mid-season.