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Rovers are back on track
ORDER has been temporarily restored in Blackburn Rovers’ managerial search after they moved back into the top six with victory over Sheffield Wednesday last night.
Grant Hanley’s fifth-minute goal was enough to give Rovers a 1-0 win at Ewood Park – their first in six matches and a first in five under caretaker boss Eric Black.
And that victory came as progress started to be made in the club’s search for a permanent manager to replace the departed Steve Kean.
A meeting was held between managing director Derek Shaw, global advisor Shebby Singh and operations director Paul Agnew yesterday, where an agreed list of targets was drawn up – understood to include in the region of six names.
Opinion has been split among Rovers’ hierarchy for large periods of their search, which has now gone on almost a month, with Singh’s efforts to speak to Fulham coach Billy McKinlay on Monday even taking club directors by surprise.
Interest in McKinlay has now been cooled, after a furious reaction from some supporters, and the Lancashire Telegraph understand some cohesion was restored to the process yesterday.
The club are now ready to begin the ‘formal interviewing’ stage, with candidates understood to be both in and out of work, and approaches set to be made to those they wish to speak to.
Sources close to Harry Redknapp have indicated that the former Spurs boss could be interested in the role, but it still currently appears unlikely that he will be Rovers’ new boss.
Garry Flitcroft was at Ewood Park for last night’s game but, although the former Rovers captain would like to be considered, he is not expected to be in the frame.
It is unknown whether Blackpool boss Ian Holloway remains on the shortlist, but a number of the candidates are understood to be in the ‘young and upcoming’ category favoured by Singh, but with some managerial experience.
“We understand that many supporters are feeling frustrated, but we said from the outset that we would not be rushed into an appointment,” said Singh.
“This is far too big a decision for that. There is a daily diet of non-stop media speculation and we cannot affect that. All we ask is for a little more patience.”
Rovers’ win last night moved them up to fifth in the Championship table and caretaker Black said: “I thought we started extremely brightly.
“Confidence seemed to be coming back when we scored then there was a lot of anxiety among the players and among the fans, who were excellent can I say.
“Anxiety arrived and we tried to defend the lead. We have to retain the ball better.
“It hasn’t been easy for the players but I thought their work rate was tremendous tonight and hopefully that win will give us the confidence to move on.”