Next Cambridge United Manager: Four names in the frame to replace Colin Calderwood

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 29 January 2020, 12:24

Colin Calderwood has become the second Football League managerial casualty of 2020 after Cambridge United parted company with the Head Coach following a 4-0 defeat at home to Salford.

The loss was the club’s fifth in their last six League Two games, with The U’s carding just a single point from a possible 18 this year. 

Since mid-November they’ve only managed to cement two wins on the board from 13 matches, a poor patch of form which leaves them 18th in the table, 10 points above the relegation zone.

Calderwood, who was appointed in December 2018 and kept the club in the Football league last season, will be temporarily replaced by assistant Mark Bonner while the club searches for their fourth permanent boss in the last two years.

Below we take a look at four of the early names that feature in the next Cambridge manager market...

Paul Tisdale

Paul Tisdale has featured in many a managerial market since he left MK Dons in November, and given his experience and achievements in League Two it comes as no surprise that he’s been installed as one of the early favourites for the Cambridge job.

Tisdale has two promotions to League One on his managerial CV, at MK Dons and Exeter, while he also led the latter from the Conference into the Football League, and was awarded with the League Two LMA Manager of the Year accolade in 2009.

Tisdale is currently out-of-work, but while he’d be a coup for Cambridge, the question is whether football’s most stylish boss can be lured back into management at a club in the lower-echelons of League Two.

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Could Paul Tisdale be tempted back into management?

Neil Warnock

"I might have to go to League Two or something like that, but why not? It doesn't bother me what division I am managing in - I would like to be able to contribute to a club, either saving it or getting it up.”

These were the words of one of football’s great managerial characters, Neil Warnock, who earlier this month expressed his desire to return to the dugout for one last shot.

Warnock, who has eight promotions at 15 different clubs, is eager to reach the landmark of 1,500 matches as a manager, with the veteran gaffer just 12 games shy of this milestone.

An appointment could work well for both parties on a short-term contract until the end of the season, and while Warnock cropping up at Cambridge would have seemed remote a few months ago, this one could well gather steam over the next few days.

Tim Flowers

Tim Flowers surprisingly left his post at Solihull Moors on Tuesday after 19 months at the helm, during which the club finished 2nd in the National League in what proved to be his only full season.

It was the club’s best-ever finish, and while this season they were only a single point off the play-offs with a game in hand, manager and club parted ways.

However, such are the workings of the managerial merry-go-round that a new opportunity has cropped up within 24 hours of Flowers’ exit. His journey with Solihull really was remarkable, and should Cambridge come calling then the former keeper would no doubt be tempted to test his managerial credentials in the Football League.

Michael Jolley

If Cambridge are after a young, progressive manager then Michael Jolley could well be their man.

Jolley previously worked under Sean Dyche at Burnley, before he made the decision to begin his managerial career in Sweden at AFC Eskilstuna. In March 2018 he aced his interview at Grimsby Town where he proceeded to spend 18 months at the helm.

The Mariners were enduring a tough time but his appointment proved inspirational as he led the club to safety, then the following season secured a 17th place finish. 

Grimsby began the current campaign brightly and reached the third round of the League Cup, where they faced Chelsea, only for the club to then surprisingly reveal that Jolley had left his post in November. It later transpired that a leaked tape of the manager venting his frustration at local journalists had led to his exit.

But Jolley is proven at this level, while a point of Cambridge-related interest is that he graduated from the city’s famous University with a MA in economics.

Managers Departed

Last man down

Graham Westley
Graham Westley
(Stevenage)
16th February
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