Friday 20 October 2017

Redknapp in mix to take reins at Blackburn Rovers

Mark Ogden

Blackburn Rovers are planning to interview Harry Redknapp over the Ewood Park managerial vacancy today after the former Tottenham manager expressed an interest in the position at the Championship club.

Redknapp, sacked by Tottenham in June having been strongly linked to the England manager's job just weeks earlier, is understood to favour a return to work at Premier League level.

But with Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes seemingly prepared to keep faith with Mark Hughes, despite the club's winless start to the league season, Redknapp has now opened the door to a surprise move to Blackburn, who have been without a manager since Steve Kean's resignation in September.

Although Redknapp's long-term base on the south coast and his reputation as a top-flight boss would seem to rule out a move north to Blackburn, Ewood Park officials are determined to make the club appeal to the 65-year-old.

Blackburn are aware that Redknapp's willingness to talk could be a tactic designed to put pressure on Premier League chairmen considering managerial changes, but the club also believe that Redknapp's candidacy -- however serious it may be -- lends credibility to their own search for a new manager.

Initial plans devised by Shebby Singh, Blackburn's global advisor and the man charged by owners, Venky's, with running the club, centred around the recruitment of an emerging manager, with Tottenham technical co-ordinator Tim Sherwood and Fulham assistant manager Billy McKinlay -- both former Blackburn players -- targeted by the club.

In keeping with the young manager blueprint, Blackburn met with Henning Berg -- another ex-Rovers player -- last night to discuss the job after his previous success as coach of Norwegian club Lyn Oslo.

Huddersfield manager Simon Grayson, Blackpool's Ian Holloway and Barnsley manager Keith Hill are under consideration, with Garry Flitcroft, currently managing non-league Chorley, also in contention for the job.

But the prospect of luring Redknapp to Ewood Park is regarded as too good an opportunity to miss by Singh and Venky's.

Meanwhile, Dougie Freedman has claimed that he can secure promotion at a "club in decline" after being unveiled as Bolton manager. Freedman, who resigned at Crystal Palace in order to succeed the sacked Owen Coyle, inherits a club lying 18th in the Championship -- nine points and 14 places adrift of Palace.

But he insists there is still time to transform the club's campaign. "I don't feel embarrassed to say that promotion is the key to the season and I feel very confident that my methods will take us up the table," Freedman said.

"It's achievable if we work every single day to the standard I expect."

Burnley hope to announce Sean Dyche as their new manager at Turf Moor today, despite late moves by Palace to tempt the former Watford manager to Selhurst Park. Dyche is expected to be confirmed as successor to Eddie Howe in the next 24 hours. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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