Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth linked with a return to Port Valeby Jack Kitson / 20 September 2017, 11:35Tweet
Port Vale are hunting for their third manager since Rob Page’s exit in May 2016 following Saturday’s sacking of Michael Brown, who was sent packing following a dismal start to the season.
Vale’s caretaker duo of Chris Morgan and David Kelly instantly emerged as the frontrunners for the permanent post, but have since both drifted to 14/1, while former boss Micky Adams is the current 15/8 favourite to return for a third spell, whereas Ronnie Moore is a candidate at 6/1, as is former Northampton boss Justin Edinburgh at 10/1.
However, it’s the sudden appearance of former Valiant Gareth Ainsworth at 8/1 which has got tongues wagging at Vale Park.
Ainsworth, who has been backed by Port Vale Supporters’ Club chairman Mark Porter, made 54 appearances for the club - scoring 11 goals - in the late 1990s, winning the Vale Player of the Season award in 1997/98, before he was sold to Wimbledon for a club record £2m.
Ainsworth’s emergence in the betting is certainly an interesting one to ponder, but his strong relationship with current club Wycombe means a move away from the Chairboys is unlikely.
The 44-year-old is currently the third longest-serving manager in the Football League, behind Paul Tisdale (Exeter) and Jim Bentley (Morecambe), having taken charge of the club five years ago.
During his tenure Ainsworth has led Wycombe into the League Two play-offs (2015) where they heartbreaking lost 7-6 on penalties to Southend, while they finished a point outside the top-7 last term. At the time of writing Wycombe are 12th in the fourth-tier with 12 points from eight matches.
Whoever replaces Brown in the dugout will need to sprinkle some managerial magic, with the club rooted to the bottom of the Football League for the first time in 36 years after registering only four points from their opening eight matches.
On Saturday managerless Vale make the trip to 19th-placed Yeovil, who are searching for their first win in four matches. The omens aren’t good for Vale who have recorded only two wins from their last of their last 21 league away games during the last year...