McCarthy odds-on as Nottingham Forest target an iconic manager
Steve Cotterill’s successor should be revealed by the end of the week
Mick McCarthy is the latest favourite to fill the Nottingham Forest vacancy and has been cut to 1/2 to be appointed following reports that he has been asked to meet the club’s new owners on Monday.
The former Wolves boss was flagged up as a “better option” than initial odds-on frontrunner Glenn Hoddle by News.Ladbrokes earlier this week and the shift in prices since then, with Hoddle drifting to 5/4, suggests that the Al-Hasawi family agree.
The search for a new manager was triggered on Thursday by the wealthy Kuwaitis’ decision to axe Steve Cotterill less than 48 hours after completing their takeover.
Judging by the subsequent comments of Abdulaziz Al-Hasawi, it would appear that call stemmed from the desire to hire someone with a higher profile and more proven record at the top of the Championship.
He said: “We are talking to several main iconic names that have a very clear understanding of this league.” The indication that there are “four or five” candidates implies that McCarthy is far from certain to be offered the job.
Al-Hasawi has also stated: “We are looking for the best in the business. We have to secure this within the next three or four days because we have to get started.”
Unsurprisingly, three of the top five in the betting have won promotion from the Championship before: McCarthy as a champion with Sunderland and Wolves, Roy Keane (4/1) with the Black Cats too and Alex McLeish (12/1) with Birmingham.
But whereas Keane and McLeish’s last positions with Ipswich and Aston Villa were perceived to have been failures, McCarthy was a success at Wolves despite ultimately being sacked, a decision that has yet to be vindicated.
The marmite Yorkshireman has held three roles this century and achieved something of substance in each, guiding Republic of Ireland to a World Cup, Sunderland to the Premier League and not only taking Wolves there but twice keeping them up.
With the Al-Hasawis talking of a three-to-five-year plan to re-establish Forest in the top-flight as they approach their 14th straight campaign outside it, promotion is unlikely to be demanded next season.
However, the promised injection of cash at the City Ground and calibre of managers linked with the job has been enough to push them in to 7/2 to achieve that goal in 2012/13.