Chris Errington: Plymouth Argyle slump will give Board much to ponder
HOW MUCH more time will manager Carl Fletcher be given to try to stop Argyle's slide towards the League Two relegation zone?
That was the question being asked by a lot of the Green Army after the 1-0 defeat by Chesterfield at soggy Home Park on Saturday.
The Pilgrims have lost six of their last seven league games so it is inevitable there are calls from many supporters for Fletcher to be replaced.
The two-time former Argyle player-of-the-year has been around football long enough to know that.
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No-one should doubt the considerable amount of time and work Fletcher is putting in to trying to turn around the results on the pitch.
Argyle's owner and chairman James Brent, and the rest of his directors, must be wondering what to do for the best.
Brent is still a relative novice when it comes to football and has yet to fire a manager.
The recent arrival on the board of former Bristol City chief executive and chairman Colin Sexstone provides the experience of the game that Brent lacks.
I would imagine Brent will listen very carefully to any input from Sexstone about the performances and results on the pitch.
If there was a time to change the manager then it is now. Argyle are not in FA Cup second round action this weekend after losing to part-timers Dorchester Town earlier this month.
They do not have another game until tomorrow week, December 4, when they host Oxford United in the last 16 of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
Their next League Two fixture is not until December 8, when York City will visit Home Park.
So there is a window of opportunity for the Pilgrims to find a new boss should they decide to take that course of action.
Up until now, Brent has been very supportive of Fletcher whenever he has spoken publicly.
From talking to him, I know he has a lot of admiration for the way the former Wales international goes about his work and his attention to detail.
But, as we all know, football is a results-based business these days and, sometimes, difficult decisions have to be made.
Whether a decision needs to be taken now, or left for longer, rests with Brent and his boardroom colleagues. They have the power.
Of course, there would be a financial cost if Argyle did part company with Fletcher.
Whether they could afford to do that and also fund a new manager, given their financial difficulties caused by lower-than-expected attendances, is open to question.
That said the cost of relegation from the Football League would be even greater.
The fact Fletcher made one addition to his squad before the deadline for 'emergency loan' signings last Thursday suggests the board are still backing him.
Midfielder Mark Molesley was brought in from League One outfit Bournemouth.
I understand the Pilgrims boss was also close to adding another player until it fell through for circumstances out of Argyle's control.
So, for all the reasons I have outlined, it is hard to tell how this story is going to play out.