After reappointing former manager Steve McClaren earlier in the season, Derby County have taken the decision to sack him once again following an abject run of form.
The Rams were expected to compete for automatic promotion by many at the start of the season, and despite splashing big money on signings such as Matej Vydra, Abdoul Camara and David Nugent, they’ve never looked like making a break for the Play-Offs under McClaren.
1 win in 10 games in all competitions has seen Derby plummet down the table, and they now find themselves in 10th place, 10 points of 6th placed Sheffield Wednesday.
On Friday night they were hammered 3-0 by a Brighton side gathering momentum at the top end of the Championship table. In terms of quality, the two teams can hardly be separated, but the lack of fight and effort shown by the Derby players was alarming, to say the least.
The Play-Offs are almost certainly out of reach this season, but the board will move quickly to bring a new manager in and start building towards next season.
With the bookmakers’ odds for the next Derby manager released in the immediate aftermath of the sacking, here are the 5 frontrunners for the job, according to Sky Bet, counting from 5th rated down to the favourite.
Mark Warburton – 18/1
The former Brentford manager has already been linked with the Norwich job, and you’d imagine his name will be in the hat when Gianfranco Zola’s almost inevitable sacking arrives.
After working miracles in the Championship with Brentford he was bizarrely refused a new deal in order to pursue a new model under the reign of Marinus Dijkhuizen. He then moved on to Rangers in the Scottish Championship
He then moved on to Rangers in the Scottish Championship, where he won promotion to the SPL before departing in February of 2017 leaving the Glasgow side 3rd in the league, and Graeme Murty in temporary charge.
At 18/1 it looks unlikely that Warburton will get the gig, but should Derby’s first choice options fail then the former Brentford man would be a solid ‘plan B’.