Sunday 25 March 2018

Confusion reigns over who has manager’s job at Bolton

Confusion continues to surround the vacant managerial position at Bolton after caretaker boss Jimmy Phillips claimed he will be in charge for Saturday's trip to Middlesbrough.

Such a turn of events seemed improbable yesterday afternoon when Crystal Palace announced their manager Dougie Freedman had left the club to succeed Owen Coyle at the Reebok Stadium.

Wanderers chairman Phil Gartside made his move for Freedman over the weekend and, following an initial rejection, npower Championship counterparts Palace granted permission for discussions to take place.

But those have not been concluded, according to Phillips, who spoke to the press following last night's 2-2 draw at Wolves with his club yet to make an official response to Palace's earlier statement.

Phillips said: "As far we are aware, the future is there are still negotiations to be concluded between Bolton and Crystal Palace.

"Myself, (and coaches) Sammy Lee and Julian Darby will be preparing the team and then taking the team at Middlesbrough.

"That is as much as I know. Obviously things could change between now and the Middlesbrough game but that is what I was told."

On the field, Mark Davies struck an stoppage-time equaliser to salvage a point for the Trotters at Molineux.

Benik Afobe had put Bolton in front after 21 minutes but a double from Kevin Doyle, looked to have given Wolves the points until Davies slammed home from the edge of the box.

Freedman's former side Palace also had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw against Barnsley at Oakwell. Glenn Murray put the Eagles in front after 11 minutes but David Perkins equalised from long range four minutes from time.

Paul Jewell's future as Ipswich manager looked bleak after his side blew an early lead to lose 2-1 at home to his former employers Derby.

The Tractor Boys quashed reports that Jewell had quit the club after Nathan Tyson grabbed a stoppage-time winner at Portman Road.

Assistant boss Chris Hutchings faced the media rather than Jewell, who said he was contemplating his future after Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Hull.

"Paul is manager of the football club at this moment in time," Hutchings said. "He wears his heart on his sleeve and he's very disappointed because we've conceded another goal late on, as we have on four or five occasions now."

To make matters worse for Jewell, he saw his side slump to the bottom of the table after Peterborough beat Huddersfield 3-1.

Posh manager Darren Ferguson praised transfer-listed two-goal hero George Boyd, saying: "George's first goal was very good, but his second was nothing short of world class.

"He has had a little look, spotted their keeper off his line and executed his shot brilliantly. If Lionel Messi had done that you would be seeing it over and over again."

At the top of the table, Aron Gunnarsson headed a stoppage-time winner to keep Cardiff level-pegging with Leicester thanks to a 2-1 triumph over nine-man Watford in south Wales - a club-record sixth straight home win for the Bluebirds.

"I'm very proud of the boys who have gone and achieved that, but I'm even more proud that we got three points and are sitting top of the league," Cardiff manager Malky Mackay said.

The defeat was tough on Watford, who had David Pudil and Nathaniel Chalobah sent off.

Leicester stayed top on goal difference after Andy King's 10th-minute goal secured a 1-0 win over Brighton.

"After the draw at Birmingham it was important to get maximum points from this match and the Crystal Palace game coming up on Saturday," Foxes boss Nigel Pearson said after his team too clinched a sixth consecutive home victory.

Elsewhere, Chris McCann headed the stoppage-time winner as managerless Burnley edged Bristol City 4-3 at Ashton Gate, Marlon King scored a hat-trick as Birmingham fought back from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Millwall, Leeds drew 1-1 at home to Charlton, Middlesbrough overcame fellow promotion hopefuls Hull 2-0 and Blackpool drew 2-2 with Nottingham Forest.

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