BLACKBURN Rovers supporters have sent an emphatic message to owners Venky’s in their search for a new manager with vastly experienced bosses topping the Lancashire Telegraph readers’ poll.
More than 700 votes were received in the space of two and a half days on who the club should target to succeed Steve Kean in the Ewood Park hot seat, with the results showing a strong call for a more established figure to guide Rovers back into the Premier League.
Blackpool’s charismatic boss Ian Holloway led the way with more than 20 per cent of the vote, with former Wolves man Mick McCarthy a close second with 17.5 per cent.
Former Spurs chief Harry Redknapp (6.8%), Real Madrid’s old boss Bernd Schuster (5.6%), ex-Charlton and West Ham number one Alan Curbishley (5.3%), Huddersfield’s ex-Rover Simon Grayson (4.9%) and Spaniard Rafa Benitez (4.2%) also featured in the top 10.
A lack of experience appears to have worked against Rovers’ Premier League winning skipper and the club’s apparent initial favourite, with the Tottenham technical director Tim Sherwood just receiving 1.4 per cent of the vote.
Former Manchester United ace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer received strong support towards the end of the poll, after it was reported he would be interested in the role, with a late surge taking him to joint fourth in the vote with 5.6%.
The 39-year-old is on the verge of taking Norwegian outfit Molde to their second successive title, having previously managed Manchester United reserves for three seasons.
Former Ewood darling Alan Shearer was one of the few to buck the ‘experience’ trend. He proved the most popular ‘legend’ to return as manager with 4.9% of the vote, while 3.5% felt caretaker boss Eric Black should be handed the reins.
With Rovers yet to start the process to find a new manager in earnest, the Lancashire Telegraph poll provides just an early snapshot of what supporters are feeling, with a wide range of names suggested.
New names are coming into contention all the time but the initial feeling among Rovers supporters appears to be that a wily old campaigner should be given the top job, with the club having suffered under managerial novice Kean over the past two years.
1 - Ian Holloway: 20.8% (148 votes)
2 - Mick McCarthy: 17.5% (125 votes)
3 - Harry Redknapp: 6.8% (49 votes)
4 - Bernd Schuster: 5.6% (40 votes)
5 - Ole G Solskjaer: 5.6% (40 votes)
6 - Alan Curbishley: 5.3% (38 votes)
7 - Alan Shearer: 4.9% (35 votes)
8 - Simon Grayson: 4.9% (35 votes)
9 - Rafa Benitez: 4.2% (30 votes)
10 - Eric Black: 3.5% (25 votes)
Also voted for: Kenny Dalglish (22 votes), Keith Hill (22), Tim Sherwood (10), Paulo Di Canio (10), Glen Hoddle (10), Garry Flitcroft (8), Michel Salgado (7), Billy Davies (5), Karl Robinson (5), Jurgen Klinsmann (5), Graeme Souness (5), Tugay (4), Henning Berg (4), Paul Dickov (4), Gary Neville (4), Steve Bruce (3), Christoph Daum (2), Ally McCoist (2), Roy Keane (2), Colin Hendry (2), Frank Rijkaard (2), Mike Newell (2), Phil Neville (1), Henrik Larsson (1), Iain Dowie (1), Slaven Bilic (1), Walter Smith (1) and Micky Mellon (1).