Who should manage City next season?
Following Saturday's 1-0 victory over Barnsley, City fans can breath a sigh of relief as their Championship status is preserved for another season.
For a club that only a few seasons ago topped the Premiership the last two seasons have been bitterly dissapointing. Much was promised after relegation by Micky Adams, Craig Levein, and subsequently Rob Kelly, but with spending kept to a bare minimum by a board who had only just saved the club from bankruptcy, City have only flirted with escaping the Championship through the trapdoor.
Milan Mandaric's takeover of the club has offered a ray of hope for fans, money has been promised to improve the club's playing staff, although the long-term question of the club's debts has not been dealt with, and rumours have been flying of who may be a close-season transfer target. Just as importantly, Manadaric brings the experience of leading Portsmouth from mediocre Championship side to the Premiership big-time, and has vowed to do the same for City.
Following Rob Kelly's sacking, the big question is who will Manadaric appoint to succeed him. Some will feel that Kelly did as well as could be expected given that he had to make do with free transfers and loan players such as Andy Johnson and Jason Jarrett, but there is no denying that under his stewardship the team often looked unfit and disorganised. Caretaker manager Nigel Worthington has made an instant impact, not only with two welcome wins away at Preston and Barnsley, but by turning out a team that look better prepared in all respects to take the game to their opponents. The blooding of 17 year-old Joe Mattock has also been welcome, the youngster being a revelation on the left-hand side of the park.
With Worthington only contracted to the end of the season all eyes are on the chairman to see who take City into next season. Worthington has said he would like the job, and his record of getting Norwich promoted from a similar position counts in his favour, but other names have cropped up as the City hotseat has suddenly become one any ambitious manager would covet.
Paul Ince, performing minor miracles with a Macclesfield team who were dead-certs for the drop at Christmas, is said to be interested, his no-nonsense style would appeal to many fans who feel the players have been too lax this season. Meanwhile, recently sacked Fulham manager Chris Coleman is said to already have been interviewed for the post but with no management experience of Championship football and a mediocre record in the Premiership, ableit on a shoestring, many fans are wary that he may not be all that special.
Perhaps someone who already knows the Foxes as a player or coach- Simon Grayson, Mike Newell or Steve Cotterill- might be given the chance. All three have done well with Blackpool, Luton and Burnley respectively, and shouldn't be discounted.
The next manager could also come out of the blue, Ian Holloway was sacked by QPR after talking to City about the manager's job a year ago, and Paul Jewell is said to be deeply unhappy at Wigan Athletic. Milan Mandaric also has a number of football contacts across Europe, but maybe he has already had his fingers burned by Alain Perrin.
Whatever happens, with the opportunity to spend money on recruiting players and the pre-season on fashioning a team, it is vital that the appointment is made soon.
Over the next week, Vital Leicester will be looking at each one of the possible candidates for the manager's job.
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