Two Ipswich Town interviewees, an ex-England boss and maybe an Argentine legend - all change in the Championship
PUBLISHED: 06:00 08 June 2018
Ipswich Town are one of seven clubs to have new bosses ahead of next season. ANDY WARREN takes a look at the managerial changes in the Championship.
It’s all change in the Championship, with seven clubs making managerial switches ahead of the new campaign.
Ipswich Town have appointed Paul Hurst to replace Mick McCarthy, with all four of the candidates to reach the final interview stage now in jobs.
Owner Marcus Evans says Hurst was his first choice throughout the process, but the Blues owner is also understood to have seen Frank Lampard, Jack Ross and Graham Potter as serious contenders.
Potter will be unveiled as the new manager of Swansea next week after personal terms were agreed and a compensation package formalised with Swedish club Ostersunds, who he guided to unprecedented success during their rise from the Swedish fourth tier to the Europa League.
Town will come face-to-face with Lampard next season after he took over as Derby manager, while plenty of Ipswich eyes will keep tabs on Sunderland’s progress in League One following Ross’s appointment.
With West Brom and Stoke also appointing new managers following relegation and QPR’s appointment of Steve McClaren, there is a fresh look to next season’s second tier, with Leeds now the only remaining vacancy.
All three relegated sides have changed their manager ahead of the new Championship season, with Darren Moore’s appointment as boss the most uplifting story of the lot.
The former central defender came in as caretaker manager following the departure of Alan Pardew and breathed new life into a relegation battle which was as good as lost. The Baggies still went down, of course, but they did so with pride after Moore’s side picked up 11 points from six games - including a draw at Liverpool and victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford. He won the Premier League manager of the month award on the day his side were mathematically relegated.
The Baggies took their time in giving the likeable 44-year-old the top job on a permanent basis but are now united behind their new man as they bid to make an instant return.
Relegation from the Premier League had not been mathematically confirmed when it became apparent Carlos Carvalhal was not long for the job at Swansea.
The Welsh side have quickly turned to Graham Potter to fill his void, offering the 43-year-old his first crack at management in English football following his remarkable rise with Ostersunds in Sweden.
He has taken the unfancied club on a spectacular journey which included three promotions from the fourth tier to the top flight, winning the Swedish Cup in 2017 and earning a Europa League clash with Arsenal last season.
Those achievements clearly caught the attention of Ipswich Town, with Potter one of four candidates to reach the final interview stages before owner Marcus Evans opted to appoint Paul Hurst. Potter will be unveiled next week.
The Potters dispensed with the services of Paul Lambert following relegation from the top flight and quickly turned to Gary Rowett.
The former Derby boss seemingly jumped at the opportunity to move to Stoke for what is his fourth management job in four years, at a time when there was talk of decreasing budgets at Pride Park which may have left him needing to trim his squad but still with the expectation of a promotion challenge.
He takes on a playing staff packed with high-earners, disappointing buys and big egos but will be expected to turn things around and ensure the Potters are challenging for an instant return to the Premier League.
They will have the benefit of the vast sums afforded to them by way of parachute payments, but Rowett will need only take a glance at Sunderland’s situation to see just how little those millions count if things are not right on the pitch.
The departure of Rowett to Stoke left an attractive vacancy, with a squad brimming with talent that has been in the thick of the promotion race for the last five seasons.
England youth coach Paul Simpson, Brentford’s Dean Smith, former Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy and ex-Wales boss Chris Coleman were all linked early on, but it quickly became clear that former England international Frank Lampard would begin his managerial career at Pride Park.
Following his appointment, Lampard insisted he knows the job at hand and accepts his side will be expected to challenge for promotion, during an impressive first appearance in front of the press. His side will need to do his talking for him on the pitch, though.
Here we go again.
Leeds are looking for their 10th manager in five years following Paul Heckingbottom’s 13-games in charge, sacking their manager despite paying Barnsley £500,000 for his services just a few months ago.
They have been linked with McCarthy, Claudio Ranieri and AC Milan legend Filippo Inzaghi linked with the role, but the strongest is with former Argentina boss Marcelo Bielsa.
The veteran boss is no stranger to controversy having been suspended by Lille for taking an unauthorised holiday, left Marseille after just one game in charge and lasted just two days as Lazio boss last year.
It’s never dull at Elland Road.
Queens Park Rangers
Given the wealth of managerial news swirling around the Championship this summer, the announcement of QPR’s new boss went a little under the radar.
But former England boss Steve McClaren is back in management at Loftus Road.
He has previously worked at the club as a coach and returns having been in charge of Derby (twice), Newcastle and Nottingham Forest following the dismissal of Ian Holloway.