NUNO Gomes is being considered as a potential player manager at Blackburn Rovers as the club look set to make coaching appointments today to fill the immediate void.
Former Aston Villa coach Kevin MacDonald was in talks with the club last night (Thursday) to become head coach, with the relatively unknown Judan Ali also expected to join the backroom staff in some capacity.
It is understood Rovers will still be searching for a full-time manager though, after Henning Berg and coaches Eric Black, Iain Brunskill and Bobby Mimms were sacked yesterday morning.
Rovers are hopeful MacDonald will take charge of team affairs for tomorrow’s trip to Barnsley but are prepared to take their time before making a final decision on what happens next.
MacDonald had been lined up as an assistant manager at Rovers by former boss Berg before his dismissal, but the club have continued their efforts to land him despite wielding the axe.
If he delivers instant success, Venky’s could even be tempted to allow him to continue as the main man with no manager brought in.
Members of the club’s hierarchy are understood to be keen on sounding out veteran striker Gomes regarding a player-manager role, although there are a number of other names understood to be in the long-term frame.
Sources close to Mark Hughes have indicated he would be unwilling to take the role under the current set up, with no contact made with the former Rovers boss.
Former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo is also admired by Rovers’ owners but they accept the Italian is a long way out of their reach.
Rovers’ immediate priority though was to make instant changes to the coaching set-up, with global advisor Shebby Singh understood to believe that was necessary to improve results.
The decision to sack Berg was not unanimous among board members at the club, with some believing he deserved at least the transfer window to put his mark on the club.
Gomes, 36, was briefly considered as an immediate replacement for Steve Kean and is again believed to be in Venky’s minds as a potential option.
The former Portuguese international arrived at Rovers on a two-year deal in the summer and could be one of the few willing to take a managerial job with the coaching positions already filled.
Meanwhile Berg has released a statement expressing his disappointment about his departure.
He said: “It goes without saying that I am bitterly disappointed to have been relieved of my managerial duties at Ewood Park after just 57 days since my appointment.
“At this stage I would just like to release a short statement thanking the Blackburn Rovers fans for their incredible support during my time in charge.
“I have always enjoyed a fantastic relationship with them dating back to my playing days where we shared some great memories.
“It was an honour for me to manage a club that is so close to my heart and I now wish all of them every success for the rest of the season and beyond.
“I would also like to thank the players and staff for their support and commitment in this short period.
“They have all done their best and unfortunately the results in these 10 games have not reflected their performances.
“I wish the club all the best in the future, and am sure that with a few additions in the January transfer window they will have a good chance of getting a play-off place.”