Derby County are now searching for a new manager to replace Nigel Clough who was sacked after a 1-0 defeat to Nottingham Forest in the East Midlands derby.
Clough who had been in charge at Pride Park since 2009, had never guided The Rams higher than a 10th place finish in the Championship, failing to match expectation that for many was to finish in the top six.
Derby had started this season in fairly fine form, losing only two of their first seven leagues games: winning three and drawing two but this weekend’s defeat to Nottingham Forest was their third in a week after defeats to Reading in the league and Leicester City in the league cup.
Clough had over seen some decent performances this campaign including a 3-0 victory over Yeovil, a 5-0 thrashing of Brentford in the cup and 5-1 thrashing of Millwall at the beginning of September but it would it appear that the County hierarchy has lost patience with Clough and his inability to achieve anything but mid-table mediocrity.
The attention now turns to Clough’s replacement with the board noting that the search is ‘well under way’ and ‘announcements will be made in due course’
So who is in the running?
The overwhelming favourite with the bookies is ex-Stoke City Tony Pulis, who despite his long ball tactics deserves plaudits for establishing Stoke City as Premier League team in such a short space of time, however his style of play may not leave him a favourite amongst those on the terraces.
Ex-England manager Steve McClaren is 2/1 odds to become the new manager and if you ignore his time in charge of the national side, his domestic CV is impressive: a League Cup, Uefa Cup Final and a Dutch League title. He’s an ex-Derby midfielder too and despite the negativity that surrounds him due to his failure to reach Euro 2008, his attractive style of football and his knowledge of the game may make him first choice for many County fans.
Martin O’Neil is another experienced man linked with the role but his history with bitter rivals Nottingham Forest with whom he won 8 trophies with including two European cups, may present an obstacle. However, he did of course win the honours under the great Brian Clough, the only man considered a legend in both the white and red areas of the East Midlands. Out of a job since his sacking from Sunderland last season, O’Neil would jump at the chance to get back into management.
Other names in the mix also include Neil Warnock, Stuart Peace and Alan Curbishley.
Who do you think will be the new Derby County manager?
Who is your pick to take the hot seat at Pride Park? Will Pulis bring his long ball tactics to the East Midlands? Or will The Rams soon be in the hands of an ex-England manager? Or does someone else take your fancy? Will the board steal Gus Poyet from under the noses of Sunderland AFC? Take a vote in our poll below and us know your thoughts.[socialpoll id=”2172374″]