Brentford boss backed to become Posh manager

Steve Evans has been backed to become the next Posh manager.
Steve Evans has been backed to become the next Posh manager.
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Current Brentford boss Mark Warburton has been backed to become the next manager of Peterborough United,

Mark Warburton appeared in the betting on the website of Football League sponsor Sky Bet at 14/1 yesterday (February 24). Warburton will leave Brentford at the end of the season after failing to agree with a re-structuring of the coaching set-up at Griffin Park.

Warburton steered Brentford to promotion from League One last season and ‘The Bees’ are currently challenging for a play-off place in the Championship. It’s likely Warburton will receive offers from bigger clubs than Posh, but he is financially independent and might relish the challenge of winning promotion with another unfashionable club.

The top two in the betting remain Steve Evans and Grant McCann, even though both were officially ruled out of the running to replace Darren Ferguson earlier this week. Current Rotherham manager Evans is now 2/1 favourite.

McCann, a former Posh player, has been described as too inexperienced by Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony, while Evans was told he wasn’t going anywhere by his Rotherham United chairman Tony Stewart.

Caretaker-boss Dave Robertson has also been heavily backed. He is down to 3/1 third favourite.

McCann will help Posh out with coaching duties this week when his playing commitments at Northern Ireland-based Linfield allow.

MacAnthony is a known admirer of Evans, but he insists he would not be approaching any manager currently in a job. Evans has a family home at Wansford and has often expressed a desire to manage his local club. Evans confirmed no approach had been made to his club to the best of his knowledge and that he was concentrating on winning a Championship relegation battle with Rotherham, a club he steered to back-to-back promotions.

The Posh chairman has been swamped with applications since Ferguson left Posh over the weekend (February 21) including four from ex-England players and some from former Premier League managers. Former Italian international midfielder Gennaro Gattuso has also expressed an interest through an agent, but MacAnthony wants to appoint a British or Irish manager.

Robertson is certain to take charge of Saturday’s League One clash with Bradford City on Saturday (February 28).

Leading candidates (and some fanciful ones).

GRANT MCCANN

Pros: Knows the club inside out, knows the players, loves the club, the chairman is a big fan of his, has respect of the players, no re-location expenses, as a popular former player fans would give him every chance, worked for some successful managers.

Cons: Inexperienced. Would a team who are not yet safe from relegation really be improved by the appointment of a novice? It worked for MacAnthony once, but Posh were a labouring League Two side then, not a club with expectations of Championship football.

SkyBet odds: 9/4

STEVE EVANS

Pros: Brilliant with the media so should be appointed immediately. His record of winning Football League promotions is outstanding. Has a house locally and is a Posh fan who has often expressed a desire to manage at London Road one day.

Cons: He’d find it hard to walk away from the Championship football he delivered so brilliantly at Rotherham last season. He has baggage that some Posh fans find ugly and he’d surely clash with MacAnthony sooner rather than later as neither are renowned for backing down in an argument.

SkyBet odds: 2/1

MARK WARBURTON

Pros: Came from nowhere (well the City actually) to emerge as a bright, innovative coach at Brentford. Soon to be available as Brentford want to move in a different direction, downwards presumably. Salary might not be too great a consideration as he is already a wealthy man from his bonus-laden financial career.

Cons: He will surely get better offers than Posh after his outstanding work at Griffin Park. Unless his greatest personal motivation is a challenge he’ll be going elsewhere. He’s objected to chairman-interference at Brentford so might not enjoy MacAnthony’s forthright opinions, particularly on social media.

SkyBet odds: 14/1

UWE ROSLER
Pros: He’s available. He’s German so he’s a winner and he will improve the Posh penalty taking.

Cons: Blew promotion from League One big-time at Brentford and it might well be that Warburton was the true managerial inspiration at Brentford.

SkyBet odds: 25/1

KEVIN PHILLIPS

Pros: Currently coaching the strikers at Leicester City, but known to be keen to step into management. I can see MacAnthony, as well as Luke James, enthusing about a striker of Phillips’ record coming to the club, It smacks of the sort of appointment MacAnthony would love to make. Players would have instant respect for a top-class player.

Cons: No management experience and he scored one of the goals at Crystal Palace that started Posh on this slippery slope.

SkyBet odds: 25/1.

PAOLO DI CANIO

Pros: Great player, successful manager.

Cons: Can seem barking mad.

SkyBet odds: 25/1

NIGEL ADKINS

Pros: Took Southampton through the divisions in style and has won promotion with Scunthorpe. Good experience.

Cons: Might be a busted flush now. MacAnthony won’t want soiled, second-hand goods.

SkyBet odds: 10/1

DAVE ROBERTSON

Pros: He’s already at the club and enjoys a strong relationship with MacAnthony. Might be the fresh-thinker that Posh need right now.

Cons: No track record with adult professional footballers. Are the current squad likely to listen to him any more than they were Ferguson?

SkyBet odds: 3/1

KARL ROBINSON:

Pros: he will no doubt link himself to the job soon. His sides play attractive football. Would boost the club’s profile on TV with his many appearances.

Cons: Too much baggage with Posh fans and he has never won a single thing of note.

SkyBet odds: Not listed

LEE JOHNSON

Pros: He’s done a brilliant job on a small budget at Oldham who tend to play entertaining football. Sort of young and hungry performer MacAnthony is known to admire.

Cons: Posh would be a step up from Oldham, but Johnson’s father might warn him off working for MacAnthony after his own bruising experience.

SkyBet odds: 25/1

GARY JOHNSON

Pros: He’s available. He has lots of experience. He has won promotion from League One twice before.

Cons: He tried and failed at Posh before. MacAnthony only ever goes back for proven winners.

SkyBet odds: Not listed.

MARK COOPER

Pros; He’s been outstanding at Swindon and he might relish the chance of proving he can make it work at a club not so reliant on the loan market for decent players. MacAnthony would enjoy taking a manager from Lee Power and Colin Hill.

Cons: Swindon are third in League One. They are currently much better than Posh. They could be a Championship club next season and Cooper would love to prove he can manage at that level. It would make no sense professionally to move.

SkyBet odds: 25/1

BRIAN MCDERMOTT

Pros: Must be desperate to get back into the game after his experiences at Leeds United. A good tactician with a good record at bigger and better clubs than Posh.

Cons: Might see Posh as a step down even if Championship clubs don’t appear to be falling over themselves to sign him just now.

SkyBet odds: Not listed.

Others priced up by Sky Bet include: 20/1 Gattuso, John Still, David Flitcroft, James Beattie, Neil Warnock, Noel Blake, Paul Ince, Shaun Derry; 25/1 Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, Iain Dowie, Terry Butcher; 50/1 Harry Redknapp.