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Five coaches to take on fallen giants Sheffield Wednesday

Sheffield Wednesday, backed by new investment from the Far East, surprisingly chose to sack head coach Stuart Gray this week after 18 months in charge of the Steel City side, who are 7/1 shots with Coral to be promoted from the Championship next term.

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but one that I believe is in the best interests of our club ahead of the 2015/16 season,” Owls chairman Dejphon Chansiri said in a statement.

“The club will be taking a new direction next season, and it is my belief that the appointment of a new head coach will help achieve my desire of bringing Premier League football back to Hillsborough.”

While there have been many false dawns with Wednesday and dark days following their fall from top-flight grace, they now face a key decision over who becomes boss. Our football experts got their heads together and have come up with five candidates who have the potential to lead the Owls back into the promised land.

Carlos Carvalhal
Soccer - UEFA - Europa League - Group Stage - Group E - Matchday 5 - Maccabi Tel Aviv v Besiktas

A firm favourite and odds-on at 4/5 to be the next manager of Wednesday, after the owners reportedly spoke to Jose Mourinho about his compatriot. While Carvalhal has never coached in England, his CV contains several small Portuguese sides and stints with Sporting Lisbon and Besiktas.

Sam Allardyce
With two promotions from the Owls’ division on his CV, both via the play-offs, it would be a real coup to capture Big Sam as boss at Hillsborough. He is 5/2 second-favourite behind Carvalhal for the post and, if appointed, punters could expect a plethora of Allardyce acolytes to follow him to the Steel City.

Paul Lambert
Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Arsenal v Aston Villa - Emirates Stadium

Could a club desperate to get back into the Premier League and a manager keen to restore his reputation after overseeing a serious decline at Aston Villa be a match made in heaven? Lambert, 4/1 to be next Wednesday head coach, is damaged goods, but did take Norwich City from League One to top tier with successive promotions.

Slavisa Jokanovic
The Owls denied then-Watford boss Jokanovic the Championship title in Gray’s last game in charge, so there would be a hint of irony in appointing the Serbian. A free agent after being axed by the Hornets following a rumoured pay dispute, he’s a 6/1 shot to make a swift managerial return at Hillsborough.

Gus Poyet
Britain Soccer Premier League

Former Brighton and Sunderland boss Poyet has picked up some Europa League punditry since his Stadium of Light sacking in March, but came close to taking the Seagulls up into the Premier League in his previous post. At 10/1, the Uruguayan is the best of the rest in this market.