Tried and tested, young and hungry or the returning hero? Potential names in the frame to replace McCarthy
- Credit: Archant
Following news of Mick McCarthy’s impending departure from Ipswich Town, talk of his replacement has begun. Andy Warren looks at the names in the frame.
One of the early favourites for the job, the former England manager was linked with the Ipswich job before McCarthy’s departure was confirmed. Has recently returned from a consultancy role in Israel with Maccabi Tel Aviv, having previously been fired by Derby twice and Newcastle once in less than two years.
A long-serving coach under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United, McCLaren’s first managerial role saw him win the League Cup during five successful years at Middlesbrough before taking on the England job and failing to reach the European Championships in 2008.
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He then headed to Holland, winning the Dutch title with Twente in 2010 before a spell in Germany with Wolfsburg.
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If Marcus Evans opts to stick with a tried and tested, battled-hardened Championship manager, then surely Simon Grayson would be in the mix. Took Preston up into the second tier in 2014/15 playing attacking football and helped them stay there, before joining Sunderland where he was sacked in October. He was recently appointed Bradford manager, but only has a contract until the end of the season with the League One promotion chasers.
Is certainly a favourite of outgoing boss McCarthy, who could potentially advise owner Evans on his replacement.
Out of work since leaving Reading for a second time at the end of the 2015/16 season but was recently strongly linked with the Oxford United job, prior to Karl Robinson’s appointment. Won the Championship with Reading in 2012.
Another manager who has recently fallen off the Championship merry-go-round. Was fired by Nottingham Forest in December but took into the Championship in 2013/14 and kept them there before heading to Rangers, where he took the fallen giants back into the top flight. Was linked with the Reading job prior to Paul Clement’s appointment.
Sherwood was last seen in a director of football role at Swindon and was widely criticised by the club’s fans upon his departure with the side sliding towards League Two.
His managerial career has seen him lead Tottenham to a sixth-placed finish in the Premier League in 2013/14 but he was sacked just a few days later. He then headed to Aston Villa, who he took to the FA Cup final in 2014/15 before being fired following a 10-game winless run the following October.
Currently working in Belgium with Louven, but would surely fancy another crack at taking a team into the Premier League, just as he did with Leicester back in 2014. Was fired after keeping his side in the league a year later, before Claudio Ranieri took over and led the Foxes to an improbable Premier League title. Had 14 games in charge of Derby before being fired in October 2016, following a reported row with owner Mel Morris.
Has been linked with English club jobs after taking Northern Ireland to the European Championship finals in 2016.
Young and hungry managers
The current Lincoln manager has distanced himself from the Ipswich job after being one of the early favourites following news of McCarthy’s departure. Knocked the Blues out of last season’s FA Cup as the former PE teacher took the non-league Imps to the quarter-finals. Has regularly stated his aim to master his level before moving on, so would a jump of two divisions be too much?
Like Cowley, Jones is pushing for a promotion to League Two with his Luton side currently sitting second in the table. Plays good, attractive, attacking football and has been praised regularly by McCarthy, while also being trusted to nurture loanee Flynn Downes. If McCarthy is consulted on his replacement, the Welshman could be a name put forward.
Hurst took Grimsby back into the Football League in 2016, beating Cowley’s Braintree in the play-offs along the way, but just a few months into his first League Two season he switched to current club Shrewsbury. He kept the Shropshire club in League One in his first season and now has his side sitting second in the third tier table. Promotion to the Championship is a real possibility.
The continental approach
The Dutchman has his VVV Venlo side punching above their weight in the Eredivisie, where they are set to stay up having been promoted last summer on a shoestring budget, playing attractive and trusting in young players. He was linked with the Blues a year ago, insisting he was flattered by talk of a move to the English Championship, and recently admitted he would consider new challenges both at home and abroad.
Recently fired by Reading having taken the Royals to the Championship play-off final in his first season, but has found things tougher this time around. The former Manchester United defender likes his teams to build from the back and play a patient, passing game but has been criticised for his style of play being too methodical and lacking an attacking edge.
Like Hurst, Mowbray is in the thick of the League One promotion race with Blackburn, where he is assisted by Mark Venus. The former Ipswich captain has been linked with the Blues job on a number of occasions, turning it down in 2010, but would the timing be right this time? The former West Brom, Middlesbrough and Celtic boss would be a popular choice with fans and won the Championship with the Baggies in 2008.
Darrell Clarke and Marcus Stewart
Clarke’s Bristol Rovers side are currently midtable in League One, with the Ipswich Town interest coming in the form of his assistant, Marcus Stewart. The former striker’s 19 goals fired the club to a fifth-place finish in the Premier League in 2000/01. Like Jones and Cowley, the step up to the Championship for Clarke would be a big one, given he was managing Salisbury in Conference South as recently as 2013.
Stated as part of his publicity tour for his recently-published book that he would love to manage the Blues one day and that a pathway is in place for him to move through the club towards the first team from his current role with the Under 16s. He says he’s not ready yet, with the new vacancy coming too soon for him.
The Ipswich captain has previously stated his desire to become a manager once his playing career is over but has said he does not see himself as a player-manager. Speaking yesterday, he said: “I think it is too soon for me to be throwing my hat into the ring.”
Former Blues defender McGreal is currently in charge of League Two Colchester. The U’s are currently eight points adrift of the final play-off place in what is just his second full season of management.
The Flying Finn has previously said he would love to manage Ipswich one day recently in England and watched Town’s games with Sheffield Wednesday, Sheffield United and Hull. “You always dream, but one day I dream to get that chance to come back and manage Ipswich,” he said. He recently left his role as Inter Turku manager in his homeland having previously battled financial problems at both FC Honka and Vantaa.
Gustavo Poyet and Mauricio Taricco
The pair have been linked with the Ipswich job on a number of occasions with the prospect of a return for former full-back Taricco and exciting one for the fans. However, given they are currently leading Bordeaux in the French top flight, it’s incredibly unlikely.