Gary Rowett returns to the dugout with Derby Countyby Jack Kitson / 14 March 2017, 09:23Tweet
Rub your eyes, it’s actually happened. After three long months and a plethora of links, rumours and speculation, Gary Rowett has returned to management.
The club of choice? Derby County who have moved swiftly to find a successor for Steve McClaren, with whom they sacked for a second time on Sunday.
Rowett, a former Rams player (1995-1998), had certainly not been short of offers since Birmingham City controversially, and stupidly, axed him in December.
A number of Championship clubs, and even Premier League teams (reportedly), have tried and failed to lure Rowett over, while he was recently interviewed by Rangers, but to no avail.
Step up Derby County, who despite their rotten managerial record of late, have now managed to appoint their seventh boss in less than two years (inc caretakers), with Rowett signing a deal until the end of the 2018/19 season.
The former Burton boss inherits a side 10th in the table, 10 points adrift of the play-offs with nine games remaining. A top-6 finish is unlikely, but not out of the question, 28/1 (Sky Bet), while the Rams are priced at 100/1 to win promotion up to the Premier League.
Rowett’s first match in charge is, surprise surprise, against Derby’s fierce rivals Nottingham Forest in Saturday’s East Midland’s derby.
Forest are themselves reportedly set to make a switch in the dugout, with Gary Brazil expected to be replaced with Mark Warburton.