Ipswich Town must appoint someone with ‘Championship know-how’ says candidate George Burley

IPSWICH legend George Burley, the last Blues boss to bring Premier League football to Portman Road, has declared his interest in taking over from Paul Jewell.

A day after Jewell left the Town hot-seat, by way of mutual consent, the club have begun whittling down a list of around 40 potential candidates.

Alan Curbishley and Mick McCarthy are the bookmakers’ favourites but Burley, who played 500 times for Town and then managed them for eight years, yesterday came out and said he wants to make an emotional return.

The former manager believes he is now a better manager than when he led Ipswich to four play-offs, the Premier League and ultimately European football.

Burley said: “I have known Simon Clegg and Marcus Evans for a number of years and of course I would be interested, this club is in my blood.

“Since I left Ipswich, I have experienced international football and managed overseas but my fondest memories are at Town – I was the most successful manager there in the last 30 years.

“I know I made mistakes after we finished fifth in 2001 and brought in big names.

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“But I also brought in the likes of Matt Holland, Tony Mowbray, Mark Venus and Jim Magilton as well as youngsters like Kieron Dyer, Darren Bent, Darren Ambrose, Richard Wright and James Scowcroft.”

Having joined Ipswich from Colchester United in December 1994, Burley became the third most successful Town boss of all time following an eventful eight years at Portman Road.

After play-off heartbreak and then elation on a special day at Wembley in 2000 was followed by fifth place in the Premiership, Burley admitted he made mistakes in the transfer market as he looked to push the club even further.

After his dismissal in October 2002, he had spells with Derby, Hearts, Southampton and then Scotland.

Most recently, Burley was in charge of Apollon Limassol for just two games but told the EADT that his position became untenable due to a tense working environment with the club’s South American sporting director.

That hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for the game and he now believes he is the right man to lead Ipswich into a brighter future.

He added: “Roy Keane and Paul Jewell are two excellent managers but sometimes it just doesn’t work. It is so important that the next appointment is the right one as it is going to be a tough season.

“Evans has brought in two managers and spent a lot of money to get it right – but that hasn’t been the case.

“Ipswich is still a big job, but because they are bottom of a very tough and competitive league, I think they need some experience and Championship know-how.”

And while he wouldn’t be pushed on who he would like as an assistant manager, Burley added: “Ipswich have their own way and their own philosophy playing football. A new manager and has backroom staff have to understand that.”

Burley’s comments come as fellow club legend Terry Butcher, currently manager of Inverness Caledonian Thistle, distanced himself from speculation.

n Do you think George Burley is the right man for Ipswich? Who would you like to see in charge? Let us know via sport@eadt.co.uk.