Are Blackpool any closer to appointing a new manager?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 18 February 2020, 15:58

It’s approaching a week since Blackpool sacked Simon Grayson, yet it seems to have gone all quiet on the club’s pursuit of a ninth permanent manager since the Glory Days of Ian Holloway.

With Blackpool not in action, the current week was viewed as an ideal time to find a replacement. However, the League One outfit have not given any indication as to whether they are any closer to naming a new boss.

It’s Nathan Jones who remains the odds-on favourite to take up his third job in just over a year. 

The Welshman enjoyed success with his free-flowing and dazzling Luton side, whom he led to promotion into League One before being lured up to the Championship with Stoke, where results, performances and luck abruptly deserted him.

Jones will be hungry to prove himself after that disappointing Potters spell, but given that he rejected Bristol Rovers at the back-end of last year he may not be willing to drop into League One. 

However, considering his less than flattering record at Stoke, he may find it difficult to bag another Championship vacancy anytime soon.

In fairness, the 46-year-old deserves a break having recently stated that this is his first proper period of time off in 30 years!

Perhaps one manager who could be more willing to take up a League One post is Paul Heckingbottom, who is still second in the betting at 7/4.

It’s a division the Englishman has previously won promotion from with Barnsley. His work at the Tykes subsequently caught the attention of Yorkshire rivals Leeds where he lasted only 16 games as the club opted to appoint a certain Marcelo Bielsa. 

Heckingbottom then ventured north of the border with Hibernian but, like Jones, has since been out-of-work since November, after the Scottish club pulled the plug on the partnership.

Someone who doesn’t look to be getting the Tangerines job is Barrow boss Ian Evatt; a Blackpool fan favourite who in his playing days helped lead the club into the Premier League.

He’s since made the step into management with Barrow who have soared to the summit of the National League with their delightful brand of football. Yet, The Gazette reports that at this moment in time Blackpool aren’t considering their former defender due to his lack of experience.

Their loss.

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Nathan Jones remains the favourite for the position

Blackpool’s caretaker manager, David Dunn, hasn’t publicly declared that he wants the permanent position but if the club fails to secure any of their main managerial targets he’d definitely be an option until the end of the season.

“I’ve just been told to take the reins and see how we go,” revealed the former Oldham boss to The Gazette after his side lost 2-1 to Bristol Rovers in his first game in charge. 

“Hopefully they will appoint somebody relatively soon. I just want to be back on the grass because I enjoy coaching, so I will just keep doing that until told otherwise.”

Elsewhere, Richie Wellens is a 16/1 shot, although this is an unlikely appointment as his Swindon side are flying high at the top of League Two. Former Barcelona assistant Sergio Lobera has also been touted - you can read more about him here - while Gary Taylor Fletcher is a 40/1 long shot.

At the time of writing all fingers point to Dunn in the dugout for Saturday’s clash away to AFC Wimbledon, and possibly the Bolton game next Tuesday.

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Graham Westley
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