Pompey boss in frame to replace Keane

IPSWICH TOWN: Steve Cotterill is the surprise name in the frame to take over the Portman Road hot seat from Roy Keane.

The 46-year-old former Cheltenham, Stoke, Burnley and Notts County manager is currently in charge of Portsmouth having joined the Fratton Park-based club last June.

The vacant Burnley position might appeal to Cotterill who led Notts County to the League Two title at the end of last season before moving to cash-struck Pompey.

But he has the credentials that Ipswich are seraching for at one time being the longest serving Championship manager while with Burnley.

Paul Jewell is the bookmakers’ favourite and like other possible candidates Chris Hughton and Gary Megson his is currently out of a job.

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It is not a done deal by any means as far as Jewell is concerned with Brighton manager Gus Poyet, who is assisted by former Town star Mauricio Taricco, and Doncaster’s Sean O’Driscoll also believed to be in the frame.

Interviews are planned to take place over the weekend with club owner Marcus Evans and chief executive Simon Clegg both involved in the process.

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“We will probably do it separately first and together,” said Clegg, who confirmed that the process of replacing Keane had already started.

“We are speaking to a number of people, and that process is in train.

“I’m not going to fuel any speculation and I’m not going to deny any names that are thrown at me.

“There are a number of people in the frame, and we will work that through and speak to and I have followed the betting odds with considerable interest.

“No decision has been made at the moment although we would like it completed as soon as possible.”

Clegg says that he appreciates that the new man will have a heavy work loan on his hands to bring success back to Portman Road.

He added: “I recognise it’s a huge task for the new manager to get us into the play-offs.

“But certainly we need to improve our position in the table.”

With Ian McParland in caretaker charge Town travel to Chelsea for a third round FA Cup game at Stamford Bridge (kick-off 3pm) with a near skeleton squad.

Jake Livermore was given permission by parent club Tottenham to play, but he has suffered a groin injury while Darren O’Dea is set to receive a late go-ahead from Celtic to be eligible for selection.

Grant Leadbitter is suspended, Jack Colback has gone back to Sunderland and Rory Fallon is cup tied, while Gareth McAuley’s fitness will be assessed later today after suffering a hamstring problem against Nottingham Forest on Monday.

If Connor Wickham plays he will be making his 50 appearance having made 14 starts and scored six goals.

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