Ipswich Town were interested in Ian Holloway back in 2012 – but will he be a contender this time around?
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Football’s managerial merry-go-round is in full swing as Ipswich Town’s search for a new boss continues. STUART WATSON looks at the latest happenings.
Carlos out, Coleman in?
Swansea City yesterday announced that Portguese manager Carlos Carvalhal will leave the club at the end of the season. Huddersfield’s draw at Chelsea on Wednesday night means the Welsh side are almost certain to be relegated from the Premier League.
Chris Coleman and Alan Pardew, recently sacked by Sunderland and West Brom respectively, have already been heavily linked to the Swans.
Carvalhal spent two-and-a-half seasons in charge of Sheffield Wednesday, guiding them to successive Championship play-off finishes before being sacked last December when the Owls were 15th in the table.
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McClaren to replace Holloway?
QPR yesterday announced that they had parted company with Ian Holloway after the West London club recently finished 16th in the Championship.
The Bristolian, along with Harry Redknapp, was seriously considered for the Town job when Mick McCarthy was appointed back in November 2012.
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Holloway has always spoken in gushing terms about Ipswich as a club on his various visits as an opposition boss. Back in November 2016 he launched a staunch defence of McCarthy following his team’s 3-0 loss at Portman Road, saying: “I would just like to remind all of you, where were you when Mick McCarthy first turned up?
“How short memories you have. With the greatest respect, it’s not the best thing to actually sell your best players all the time, is it?
“Seven points you had (when McCarthy took over in November 2012). Never mind about going up, what about not going down? (Never mind) about keeping building, what about selling? It doesn’t make sense for me, sorry. And he’s a good mate of mine.
“I’m only being realistic. Don’t bring your own woes and chuck it at someone, that’s how I feel, and ask why you keep having to sell all your best players all the time.
“You got someone from non-league (Tyrone Mings) , you sold him for about £8 million (to Bournemouth), is that what Mick wants to do, is it? Really? I doubt it. Would he like to keep them and keep working? I don’t know.
“Just have a bit of a thought sometimes, that’s all I’m saying and then you might get what you want for Christmas.
“I hope you don’t mind and I hope you don’t think I’m making a big story of it, all I’m trying to say is just sometimes have a little look where you were and have a little think about who you’re having a go at. That’s all I’m saying. Because some of us are alright. Some of us.”
It’s been reported that Steve McClaren, the initial bookies’ favourite for the Town job, has been lined up to take over at Loftus Road.
Grayson to Tykes?
It was announced on Tuesday that Simon Grayson had left his position as manager of Bradford City after his short-term deal expired. The 48-year-old took over in February following the sacking of Stuart McCall but won just three of his 14 games in charge as the Bantams finished 11th.
“This was an extremely difficult decision,” he said. “After conversations with the owners I have decided to turn down the option to extend my contract.”
The 48-year-old, who was previously in charge of Blackpool, Leeds, Huddersfield and Sunderland, has already been installed as the bookies’ favourite for the vacant Barnsley job after the Tykes sacked Jose Morais following relegation to League One.
Former Blues boss Mick McCarthy has always spoken in glowing terms about Grayson and would no doubt give his fellow Yorkshireman a good reference if asked for advice from owner Marcus Evans.
Steijn to stay?
Dutch boss Maurice Steijn says he now expects to stay at VVV-Venlo – the unfashionable club he has guided to promotion and subsequent top-flight safety on a shoestring budget.
The 44-year-old told this newspaper last month that ‘Ipswich is a very nice club’ and that he was ‘ready for a new adventure’ following links to the Blues. In our online poll which asked who fans wanted as the next boss, Steijn came out on top with 30% of more than 5,500 votes.
”This was not my last match as VVV-Venlo manager because I am still under contract with the club,” Steijn told broadcaster NOS. “I have received offers in the previous weeks and months and I admit whilst they were nice clubs I did not view them as an improvement on VVV-Venlo or the club in question chose to appoint a different manager.
“Things can change quickly in football but I expect to be the manager of VVV-Venlo next season. There has been no contact from SC Heerenveen neither Vitesse Arnhem when that was mooted. Nice clubs have been linked but you must also not forget that VVV-Venlo is also a nice club.”
We understand the Blues have not attempted to make any contact with Steijn.
North of the border
We understand that Town have been given permission to speak to St Mirren boss Jack Ross – but he’s not the only option if the Blues are looking north of the border.
Hibernian boss Neil Lennon looks like he could be on the move after Wednesday night’s 2-1 defeat at Edinburgh rivals Hearts meant his side could no longer finish second.
“We look like we are going to finish fourth, which is unacceptable for me,” said the Northern Irishman, who has previously been in charge of Celtic and Bolton. “I will reconsider my position now in the summer.
“I’ve got things to think about myself, my own personal aims and ambitions. We have a board meeting next week so we’ll see.
“I have been here two years now and we have made great strides, but I’ve got to think about myself sometimes as well and how I feel about the whole thing.”
Meanwhile, two managers with English Championship experience have enjoyed success in the SPL this season. Aberdeen are currently second under former Bristol City boss Derek McInnes and could finish above Rangers, while Kilmarnock are fifth under ex-West Brom boss Steve Clarke.
St Johnstone have also been a success story under Tommy Wright, the Northern Irishman having guided the Perth club to four successive top-six finishes before this season.