Five managers who could work wonders with Wigan Athletic
Dave Whelan is not a hire-and-fire type of chairman. When Wigan Athletic slipped into the Championship relegation zone (9/1 with Coral to go down), however, he relieved former Brentford boss Uwe Rosler of his duties as Latics manager.
Wigan’s current plight got Coral’s football experts thinking. Who could help revive their fortunes, after losing manager Roberto Martinez and falling on such hard times? Owen Coyle and ex-East Germany and Manchester City striker Rosler failed in this charge, so we came up with five men that might be able to bring success back to the DW Stadium.
Former Watford and Cardiff City coach Mackay is a strong odds-on 2/5 favourite to take on the Latics. He has been out of work for almost a year now, sacked during the Christmas period by controversial Bluebirds owner Vincent Tan.
Despite some ill-advised private text comments made while in charge of the Welsh capital club, Mackay did what Cardiff predecessor Dave Jones failed on multiple occasions to do; he got them promoted. Those previous proven managerial credentials in this division are attractive, and Wigan would be a great destination to rebuild his reputation.
Sacked by Norwich City before the end of last season, ex-Republic of Ireland and Tottenham defender Hughton had second tier success at Newcastle United, steering them to the Championship title in 2009/10. He came close to a second promotion from this division during a subsequent stint at Birmingham City.
Whelan may want a steadying influence on the Latics, so that makes mild-mannered Hughton, 5/1 to get the job, a valid alternative to Mackay. If Wigan recall Grant Holt from a loan spell at relegation rivals Huddersfield Town, then these two could reprise a working relationship from their time together at the Canaries.
MK Dons manager Robinson’s stock could hardly be higher. He has the Milton Keynes club in the mix for League One promotion yet again, and knocked Manchester United out of the Capital One Cup earlier this term.
Resisting previous overtures to take on other teams, Robinson, a 12/1 chance here, may be tempted by old school chairman Whelan, who is not dissimilar from Dons counterpart Pete Winkelman, back to his native northwest, however. Appointing him would give the Latics one of the most-talented young coaches in the game right now.
Axed by West Bromwich Albion just before Mackay got his cards at Cardiff, former Liverpool assistant boss Clarke might also make a management return. Linked with vacancies at Fulham and Leeds United in recent months, could the Lancashire Latics be a decent fit?
It looks to be something of a step down for Scotsman Clarke, 14/1 to take over, as opposed to someone like Robinson, who would be making a move upwards. Compatriot quintet Gary Caldwell, Don Cowie, Fraser Fyvie, Shaun Maloney and Aaron Taylor-Sinclair would surely welcome him to the DW.
This would be something of a real coup for Wigan. Pulis is a 16/1 shot to be appointed, though, after doing great work establishing Stoke City in the Premier League before saving Crystal Palace from the drop. He may be saving himself for a top-flight job, however.