Date:Tuesday May 22 2007
New names are being linked to Leicester City, as Milan Mandaric's search for the Foxes' new manager looks to be entering the final stages.
MK Dons have reporedly given permission for manager Martin Allen to speak to City, and Allen must now head a shortlist Mandaric has been quoted as saying contains four names.
'Mad Dog' Allen first made his name at Brentford, taking his team to consecutive League One play-offs but failing to win either. He stepped down a rung of the league ladder at the end of last season to take over at the MK Dons and despite a team including highly rated striker Izale Mcleod, again stalled at the play-offs, going out in the semi-finals to seventh-placed Shrewsbury.
Although Allen's passionate approach to management is not in doubt, it remains to be seen if the direct play he adopted at Brentford and MK Dons would acheive results at a higher level. Fans of both clubs complain that his brand of football is hard to watch, and such football rarely does well at the Premiership level that Leicester are aiming for- with Watford and Sheffield United's fate this season being a case in point.
Sheffield United provide another name on Mandaric's four-man shortlist, Neil Warnock resigned the day after seeing the Blades relegated from the top tier and was immediately linked to the City job.
The identity of the other two candidates for the job remains a mystery, although more names have both been added and removed from the fans' own speculative shortlists.
Chris Coleman and Paul Jewell have said that they are out of the running, while the time taken over the appointment surely shows that Nigel Worthington is not seen as the man to take City into next season.
Meanwhile rumours around Derby's Billy Davies and Bristol City's Gary Johnson have started to circulate.
Billy Davies' involvement in the Play-offs would explain the time taken over the appointment, but whether Derby would let him leave for their rivals remain to be seen. Gary Johnson has an exemplary record with Bristol, Yeovil, and Latvia, but would be unlikely to want to leave the westcountry.
Perhaps the Play-offs could be delaying another candidate though. City old-boy Simon Grayson saw his Blackpool side win their ninth consecutive game. A tenth victory on Sunday will see the club into the Championship. Grayson has mixed passion and commitment with an attractive passing game to produce a team few League One sides have been able to cope with. That the team has been built with barely a penny to spend can only count in Grayson's favour.
Whoever takes the reins at the Walkers Stadium however, a huge task is at hand, with both fans and chairman expecting results quickly.
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