The ‘100-day plan’: Oldham’s ‘ambitious and astute’ Johnson departs for Barnsley

Barnsley have cited Lee Johnson’s exciting ‘100-day plan’ as one of the primary reasons for taking the manager away from fellow League One club Oldham Athletic.

The 33-year-old leaves Oldham in ninth, seven places above his new club, whom he saw beat Scunthorpe 1-0 on Tuesday night.

Johnson’s first game in charge for the south Yorkshire side is likely to be Saturday’s trip to Gillingham which, judging by their praise of him, the Barnsley board will be relishing.

From the outset the board determined that it was seeking young candidates with strong coaching credentials and astute tactical awareness,” read a statement on Barnsley’s website.

“A clear and attractive football philosophy and a viable plan to implement that philosophy was also sought and a small number of candidates were interviewed, Lee Johnson selected as significantly the best of these.

“He met the selection criteria established and also produced a specific plan for Barnsley for his first 100 days in charge.  

“This included a playing strategy, specific tactics, identified current weaknesses and credible recruitment targets to strengthen our team.”

Johnson was English football’s youngest manager when he took over at Boundary Park in March 2013 aged just 31, though he has since been taken over by Adam Murray at Mansfield Town and Alex Neil at Norwich City.

Johnson helped them to a 15th-place finish last campaign and has recorded 36 wins, 35 losses and 32 draws in his 23-month tenure while proving to be a popular manager.

While extremely disappointed that Lee has left the club, Oldham Athletic would like to thank him for the commitment and desire he has given to his role over the last two years,” said chief executive Neil Joy.

Joy also confirmed first team coach Stuart Holden would temporarily take charge of first team affairs to be assisted by senior player Adam Lockwood.

“We took a gamble in appointing the youngest manager in the Football League when he joined us and he has proved what we believed to be true at the time in that he is developing into one of the best young coaches in the country.

“He has always had the full support of the Board of Directors at the club especially when it has come to improving the quality and strength in depth of the playing squad. 

“We wish Lee every success in his new role at Barnsley.”

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes is believed to be in contention for the manager vacancy at Oldham.

The former United midfielder is a lifelong Latics fan, has season tickets for the League One side and is a friend of chairman Simon Corney.

Scholes worked temporarily at United as a coach last season under Ryan Giggs, who was interim manager after David Moyes was sacked. 

Former Oldham boss Iain Dowie and Johnson’s father Gary are also believed to be candidates for the vacancy at Park.

Meanwhile Barnsley have won their last two games under caretaker manager duo Mark Burton and Paul Heckingbottom and despite sitting 16th in the table they are just four points off the play-off places.

The Tykes have been without a manager since sacking Danny Wilson on February 12 after winning three and losing four league games in 2015.

“The Board believes that everyone will like Lee’s personality,” added the club’s statement.

“He is honest, passionate and a good communicator.  Lee believes strongly in fan engagement. He is ambitious and has a clear vision for the development of our club going forward.”

Main image courtesy of Official OAFC via YouTube, with thanks.

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