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Question of the Week

Should Russell Slade be sacked?

Yes immediately
Give him one more game

Who will it be?!
Who will it be?!

Managerial Shortlist

By: Richard Hubbert
Date: 01/06/2006

THE race is on! With the departure of Russell Slade after two years at Blundell Park, the immediate question is who will replace him? The Fishy runs through the possible contenders for the Mariners hotseat.

One thing is for sure - there will be lots of movement on the managerial merry-go-round in the coming weeks. A massive 14 clubs are looking for a manager at the moment. Joining the managerless Mariners are the likes of Wycombe, Lincoln, MK Dons, Tranmere and Northampton.

Nearly everybody has been mentioned as a possible successor to Russell Slade. Here we run down the pros and cons of each candidate.

Graham Rodger

Pros: Been at the club since the early 1990s and knows the club inside out. Impressed in his time as caretaker manager in 2004 in which time he led Town to the 6-1 demolition of Barnsley at Blundell Park. Demands the kind of passion and determination that the Town board will be looking for. If he doesn’t follow Slade, wherever he goes, he will be disappointed not to remain at the club in some capacity.

Cons: Relatively inexperienced. May not have many contacts in the game in comparison with more experienced candidates. The failure of his reserve side to win a game last season may also count against him.

Paul Wilkinson

Pros: Born and bred in Grimsby, Wilkinson started his career with the Mariners in the early 1980s before spells at Nottingham Forest and Everton. Wilkinson is highly respected as a coach and likes the ball played on the floor. Was reserve team coach with the Mariners before the collapse of ITV Digital and now holds the same post at Cardiff. Wilko is renowned for aiding the development of young players like Cameron Jerome. Popular with many fans, if he fancies a stab at management, his first club would seem the natural option.

Cons: Good coach, but does this make him a good manager? Like Rodger, he has relatively little experience. To appoint him would represent a massive gamble. Already employed at Cardiff City, would he want to uproot and move back to Lincolnshire again?

John McDermott

Pros: Club legend, having made his Mariners debut in 1987. “Macca” has been taking his coaching badges and has expressed a desire to stay involved in the game. Tremendous passion for the club, Macca would perhaps favour a passing style of play, having played under Alan Buckley in his Town career.

Cons: Even less coaching and management experienced than Wilkinson and Rodger. After seeing the way management turned so sour for Paul Groves, the board may distance themselves from such a move. Could possibly become assistant manager in a new management set-up.

Tony Ford

Pros: Another man who knows the club well, having played over 300 league games for the Mariners. Current number two to Steve Parkin at Rochdale. Another who understands the club and what its fans want. Has coaching experience and would relish a return to his hometown club.

Cons: Never been the number one, always the number two. Although Rochdale are one of the better footballing sides in the division - where did they finish in League Two last season?

John Ward

Pros: Done an excellent job with few resources at Cheltenham. Not afraid to give youth a chance. Used to play for the Mariners, so knows what we are all about.


Be unlikely to leave Cheltenham after their success over the Mariners at the weekend. If he is going to leave the Robins, it seems more likely that it will be for Lincoln City.

Gary Megson

Pros: Managed at the top level of English football. Plenty of contacts and had good success with West Brom, helping them reach the Premiership for the first time in their history.

Cons: Had a disastrous time at Nottingham Forest. More importantly it is likely that he will prove too expensive for the Mariners. Megson has managed some big teams in recent years and would see the Mariners as a big step down for his career.

Ronnie Moore

Pros: Recently parted company with Oldham Athletic having taken them to within six points of the play offs in the season just gone. Did a fantastic job with Rotherham United, guiding them to two promotions in a eight year spell. Will be keen to quickly get back into management and stay within the north of the country.

Cons: His style of play did not endear him to Oldham fans, which was the reason for his departure. Their season ticket sales were so low due to his unpopularity; the Oldham board were forced to sack him. Likely to favour a move to his former club, Tranmere Rovers.

Nigel Clough

Pros: Son of Nottingham Forest legend Brian Clough, Nigel has slowly learnt his trade in management. Took Burton Albion into the Conference a few seasons ago and hit the headlines this season after taking Manchester United to a replay in the FA Cup.

Cons: No league managerial experience. Clough seems to have been linked with the Town job on several occasions, yet is always overlooked. Burton have held their own in the Conference, but have hardly set it alight. Their 9th place finish last season was their highest ever finish in the Conference.

Gudjon Thordarson

Pros: Led Stoke to promotion in 2001 through he play offs and has also coached the Icelandic national side. He took over at Barnsley in 2003 and was initially successful, until a new consortium under Peter Risdale took over and he was dismissed. Recently parted company with Notts County. Has plenty of league experience in England, and is keen to stay in England.

Cons: Notts County only avoided relegation by three points last season. Seeing as Town beat the Magpies on two occasions, this will hardly impress the Mariners board.

John Gorman

Pros: Vastly experienced coach and manager. Would install a brand of football that some Town fans have been calling for this season. In the early stages of last season, Wycombe were by far and away the best side in League Two. Has stated that after the death of his wife, he is desperate to return to football as quickly as possible and was disappointed to be relieved by Wycombe.

Cons: Based in the South of England. Therefore would he fancy a move up North? Furthermore, after his recent personal problems there are doubts over whether he would be ready and prepared to take another job so soon.

Glen Cockerill

Pros: Been in charge on non-league side Woking since 2002. Previously coached at Fulham, Brentford and Crystal Palace. Cockerill has taken Woking to two mid table finishes in the last few seasons, flirting with the play offs at times. Took his side to the FA Trophy Final last term, where they lost to Grays.

Cons: The way in which his brother, John, left the club may dissuade him from taking up the position. Furthermore, like Clough at Burton he has not had any major success in the Conference.

Danny Wilson

Pros: Very experienced manager, who likes his sides to play good football. Had great success with Barnsley in the late 1990s, leading them to the Premiership. Came close to promotion with Bristol City on several occasions. Pulled off a miracle to keep the MK Dons in League One in 2004/05 nurturing a crop of good young players.

Cons: 2005/06 with the MK Dons resulted in relegation. May be a more expensive option for Town and is reportedly wanted by a few other sides also looking for a new manager.

Brian Little

Pros: Vastly experienced having managed Leicester, Aston Villa, Hull City and Tranmere. Little led Hull to the play offs in this division with limited resources and his first two seasons at Tranmere took saw them go very close to promotion. Could be a good, stabilising short-term option.

Cons: Have to question his desire and determination to succeed. Left Tranmere after a distinctly mediocre season in League One. The Town board may be looking for a more hungry, younger manager.

Leroy Rosenior

Pros: Led Torquay to promotion in 2003/04 on a very tight budget. Likes his sides to play with the ball on the ground, Rosenior is very well respected in the game. Came close to getting the Peterborough United job.

Cons: Definite outsider for the job. Failed to stabilise Torquay last season as they struggled near the foot of the table. Relatively inexperienced - would be another risk.

Stan Ternent

Pros: Another experienced manager who enjoyed a very successful spell with Burnley, taking them close to the Premiership. Nearly saved Gillingham from the drop in 2004/05 despite a great run in towards the end of the season. Been out of work since then and might fancy another crack at management.

Cons: Like Little, his commitment and hunger has to be questioned. Also, as a former Tiger, how keen would he be to manage his old rivals?

Best of the rest

If Town take the non-league option again then Halifax boss Chris Wilder could be a possibility. He took the Shaymen to the play off final in the Conference last month. Similarly, York boss Billy McEwan has also impressed this season. Brentford manager Martin Allen resigned a few days ago over his budget at Griffin Park so would be unlikely to find the Mariners budget much larger. No Town managerial contest would be complete without mentioning Kevin Drinkell. The ex Town striker has always expressed a desire to manage his hometown club. Keith Curle is out of work and despite an unsuccessful time with Chester, proved at Mansfield that he is capable of success at this level. Youth team coach and former striker Neil Woods could also be considered. The Youth team have had a successful season, although it is more likely that Woods features as an assistant should Rodger be given the job.

This site is by the fans, for the fans, and we will consider articles on any subject relating to the Mariners whether it be related to current news, a nostalgic look back in the past, a story about a player, a game or games in the past, something about Blundell Park or football in general. Click here to submit your article!

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This site is by the fans, for the fans, and we will consider articles on any subject relating to the Mariners whether it be related to current news, a nostalgic look back in the past, a story about a player, a game or games in the past, something about Blundell Park or football in general. Click here to submit your article!

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