Calderwood torn between two towns

IPSWICH target Colin Calderwood today spoke for the first time about the vacant manager's job at Portman Road.The Northampton boss interrupted a family holiday in Dubai to fly back to London this morning, less than 24 hours after Town confirmed they had been given permission to speak to him.

By Mel Henderson

IPSWICH target Colin Calderwood today spoke for the first time about the vacant manager's job at Portman Road.

The Northampton boss interrupted a family holiday in Dubai to fly back to London this morning, less than 24 hours after Town confirmed they had been given permission to speak to him.

Former Scotland international Calderwood, 41, is one of a handful of candidates in the running to replace Joe Royle, who departed a fortnight ago.

The only contender to have been firmly identified so far, he is clearly torn between moving up in the world with Ipswich or staying put with the Cobblers, one level down but fiercely ambitious to continue their upward trend and join the Championship.

Calderwood's three seasons in charge saw them twice qualify for the play-offs, where they lost at the semi-final stage on each occasion, and then win automatic promotion from League Two last term.

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The former Mansfield, Swindon, Tottenham, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest central defender was reserve coach at White Hart Lane before taking up his first managerial post at Sixfields.

Calderwood will certainly take his interest in the Portman Road job further than ex-Town captain and first team coach Tony Mowbray, who was given permission by Hibs to talk to his former employers but declined to do so.

Asked if he would be discussing the job with Ipswich, he said: “I have to say yes because there are lots of pluses, but I know very little about it at the minute.

“There would have to be a bit of investigation and it would depend on what other people say about it and what information they could give me.

“I know very little about Ipswich Town and their season because my concentration has been elsewhere.

“They are a Championship club and anyone playing at that level gives you a chance of getting in the Premiership.

“That is an obvious attraction but at the minute I don't see it as a fast road out of Northampton. That's not what I'm looking for.”

While taking over as manager of Ipswich represents an attractive career opportunity, Calderwood might have a difficult decision to make.

He added: “There's still a lot to be achieved with Northampton I feel. It's important to feel you've got a chance of being successful wherever you are. That's the reason the phone has rung, because we've had a bit of success.

“There are all sorts of considerations when you go and talk to other clubs, but I think we've got a chance of getting into the next league.

“I want to have another end of season like the one we've just had and at the minute all thoughts are really about doing that with Northampton.”

Calderwood is set for talks with Ipswich chairman David Sheepshanks and chief executive Derek Bowden, who will decide if he goes forward to the final stage of the interview process in front of the entire board of directors.

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