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McCarthy and Holland in frame to lead Tractor Boys

MICK McCARTHY and Matt Holland could revive their successful Ireland partnership by taking over at troubled Championship side Ipswich Town, writes AIDAN FITZMAURICE.

Ipswich are facing the real prospect of relegation to England's third tier as they lie four points adrift at the bottom of the table following a run of four straight defeats. Paul Jewell was axed as manager last week and the club have yet to name a replacement.

Ian Holloway has been strongly linked with the post but former Ireland boss McCarthy is among the leading candidates, and it's been suggested locally that ex-Ireland captain Holland could join McCarthy's coaching staff in a bid to save the club. McCarthy handed Holland his international debut in 1999 and the pair have remained close since .

Crystal Palace are also looking for a manager since Dougie Freedman's departure last week and McCarthy, who has a home in London, is also in the frame for that post. Former Ipswich striker James Scowcroft, currently on the coaching staff at Ipswich, has backed McCarthy for the job.

"I think he would work (at Ipswich), though Crystal Palace might be on his list at the moment as well, as he lives a couple of miles away from them," says Scowcroft.


"I think it (Mick) would be somebody worth looking at and if you could get him on board, I think it would be a good bit of business."

If McCarthy does take the job and follow in the footsteps of Roy Keane, one of his first duties would be to sort out the squad and assess the futures of a batch of players signed by Keane. Ipswich said they would investigate reports five players were spotted out late into the night on Wednesday and a number of the quintet were brought to the club by Keane.

"We are aware that a number of our players were out late into the evening on Wednesday. Although they were not breaking any official club rules by being out, this has been brought to the attention of chief executive Simon Clegg and caretaker manager Chris Hutchings who are now dealing with it," Ipswich said in a statement.