After just 14 games, former Leeds United and Liverpool winger Harry Kewell has been sacked as manager of Notts County. The club announced the departure of Kewell on Tuesday afternoon, but aren’t wasting any time in bringing in his successor.
It has been a busy few days in the managerial window, with Phil Brown, Neal Ardley and John Askey all being sacked in the last two days by Swindon Town, AFC Wimbledon and Shrewsbury respectively. Yet another name has joined the list of casualties of this week, as Notts County relieved Harry Kewell of his services.
The Magpies haven’t wasted any time in looking for a replacement, and three main candidates have emerged for the job.
First is former Shrewsbury Town manager Paul Hurst. Hurst was relieved of his services as Ipswich Town manager on October 25th after a dreadful start to life in his first Championship managerial job. After a brilliant spell at Grimsby Town, the 44-year-old switched to Shrewsbury, where he massively overachieved on a low budget, carrying The Shrews into the League One Play-Offs. However, after his poor spell at Portman Road, he is available once again.
Nottingham Post journalist Leigh Curtis tweeted that Hurst would happily talk about a possible move to Meadow Lane as County manager:
Understand Paul Hurst would happily talk to Notts about vacant manager's position. He's also been linked with a return to Shrewsbury as has Kevin Nolan who, I am told, would also be happy to return to ML.
— Leigh Curtis (@LeighCurtis_NP) November 13, 2018
Another leading candidate for the vacancy at Meadow Lane is Neal Ardley, who was sacked as manager of League One side AFC Wimbledon after six years in charge. The Nottingham Post revealed that Ardley is one of the front runners for the job, after successfully leading Wimbledon to League One, as well as maintaining their place in the third tier.
Prior to Kewell’s appointment, Ardley was one of the contenders to take over from previous manager Kevin Nolan, but he dismissed the rumours as just paper talk.
Former Oxford United manager Michael Appleton is also in the running in the early stages of County’s managerial hunt. After leaving his post as Assistant Manager of Leicester City, Appleton is keen to return to the game as the number one, and is open to the possibility of a switch to a League Two club.
“I would prefer to go back in as a manager if possible, I feel that’s what suits my personality and my abilities,” he told the Not the Top 20 Podcast.
“I love being on the grass but I actually quite enjoyed the management side of it being in the boardroom and dealing with managing above and – when I’ve been out the game I’ve been involved in a couple of business opportunities as well, so I enjoy that side of it.
“I want to go back in as a number one if possible. For me, it’s not about the level, if I’m being honest. I would love the opportunity to manage in the Championship just to put a few ghosts to bed.To prove a few people wrong. But I’m not obsessed with that.”
Other contenders include former Blackpool manager Gary Bowyer and Darren Ferguson, who was sacked by Doncaster Rovers at the end of last season.