Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom returns to the summit of the next Nottingham Forest manager marketby Jack Kitson / 23 January 2017, 10:32Tweet
Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom has burst back into the Next Nottingham Manager Market after bookmakers cut his odds over the weekend, with the 39-year-old today (Monday) as short as 5/4 (Paddy Power) to switch Championship dugouts.
Heckingbottom was first linked with Forest last Tuesday, shrinking from 12/1 to 7/2, only to then hover around the 7/1 mark.
Sky Bet had the former defender priced out at 12/1 on Sunday morning, but he has since been propelled to the summit of the market, jumping above the likes of caretaker Gary Brazil, former Derby manager Nigel Pearson, and the in-demand Gary Rowett.
Heckingbottom’s impressive work at Barnsley - he led the Tykes to promotion up to the second-tier last season, bagging the Football League Trophy along the way - makes him an attractive proposition, although he’s arguably not the “big name” fans crave.
Meanwhile, Forest may traditionally be a big club, but their instability and current predicament, both on-and-off the pitch, probably makes a move an unwise one for Heckingbottom - especially given that Barnsley are currently pushing for a top-6 finish - although not out of the question.
On Saturday interim boss Brazil led Forest to their first win in nine (in all competitions), a narrow 1-0 triumph over fellow strugglers Bristol City, whose own boss Lee Johnson is now under immense pressure following eight consecutive defeats.
The valuable victory lifted the Reds five points clear of the relegation zone ahead of their crunch clash at Garry Monk’s high-flying Leeds on Wednesday.
Another win would bolster his chances of claiming the job permanently, but in truth no one really knows what is going on, with the likes of Pearson, Rowett, Billy Davies, and Jack Lester all still in the mix, although Burton boss Nigel Clough is reportedly not interested (Nottingham Post), however he can still be found at 10/1.
Meanwhile, former Forest striker Stan Collymore has expressed the need for the club to appoint a manager with a big personality: