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Mick McCarthy in pole position for Burnley job
MICK McCarthy is in pole position for the Burnley job the Lancashire Tele– graph understands.
But the Clarets face stiff competition from neigh– bouring Championship side Bolton Wanderers.
The former Wolves boss has also been tipped for a return to international management and a second spell in charge of the Republic of Ireland.
While Burnley are set to begin the formal interview process today, it is understood the board have made McCarthy their number one target.
As revealed in Monday’s Lancashire Telegraph, the 53-year-old had an informal chat with Clarets chiefs after Eddie Howe finalised his return to Bournemouth. It is believed that McCarthy felt he could establish a good relationship with the club’s board – a key factor after he turned down the chance to manage Nottingham Forest in the summer because of the prospect of interference from new owners, the Al Hasawi family.
Should McCarthy accept the job, it is thought an attractive offer would be on the table.
However, it is likely McCarthy would have reservations about the club’s budget, and therefore the impact he could have in the transfer market.
Bolton are believed to have also set their sights on appointing McCarthy to replace former Burnley boss Owen Coyle, who they sacked last week.
And with the ex-Millwall and Sunderland boss determined to manage in the Premier League again as quickly as possible, he may view the Reebok opening as too good an opportunity to turn down.
With the Clarets seemingly aware of the potential pitfalls in their quest for McCarthy, the club is today set to start the formal interview process to find their fifth manager in five years.
The board has been inundated with applications for the vacant position since Eddie Howe left last week to return to former club Bournemouth for family reasons.
Co-chairmen John Banaszkiewicz and Mick Garlick met with directors on Sunday to study the list of names and discuss their own ideas in the search of their next appointment.
And the Lancashire Telegraph understands that up to six names are on the final shortlist, with the leading candidates a mixture of managers both in and out of work.
Interviews are set to conclude by the end of the week, with the Clarets looking to announce their new appointment early next week.
That means caretaker boss Terry Pashley will be in temporary charge for Saturday’s televised derby with Blackpool, after the club confirmed the youth team coach will oversee first team affairs, with assistance from goalkeeping coach Billy Mercer and academy manager Jason Blake, until Howe’s successor is named.
Portsmouth’s Michael Appleton, Crewe manager Steve Davis – a former Clarets defender, and Nick Barmby, who served Hull City as player and manager, are thought to be among the leading contenders after McCarthy.
Pashley’s first training session coincided with fit-again striker Danny Ings’ first full training session after recovering from a second serious knee injury in 12 months.
And Ings, who suffered knee cartilage damage in a pre-season friendly at Rochdale, feels he has timed his comeback well.
“If a new gaffer comes in and I am injured there’s a negative straight away, but it’s good that I can hopefully get back in the frame and train with the lads and get as fit as I can,” he said.