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Next West Brom manager: Trio keen on Albion job

By Matt Wilson | West Bromwich Albion | Published:

Three of Albion’s top targets for the vacant managerial post are keen to come to The Hawthorns, the Express & Star understands.

The trio are all understood to be keen on the Albion job.

Leicester assistant Michael Appleton, Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes and Ostersunds FK manager Graham Potter would all be open to an approach from the Baggies.

Albion have already started drawing up a list of potential replacements for Alan Pardew following his departure by mutual consent yesterday.

Appleton, McInnes and Brentford boss Dean Smith are all believed to be in the board’s thinking at this early stage.

However, they are not expected to appoint a new head coach until the summer, when chief executive Mark Jenkins completes his reboot of the club following a root-and-branch review.

First-team coach Darren Moore has been put in temporary charge until the end of the season and is due to oversee the last six games, starting with the home fixture against Swansea this weekend.

Appleton started his coaching career at the Baggies after a serious knee injury forced him to retire from playing early and was assistant to both Roberto Di Matteo and Roy Hodgson.

He has since managed Portsmouth, Blackpool, Blackburn Rovers and Oxford United, but left League One to become Craig Shakespeare’s assistant at Leicester, where he currently works under Claude Puel.

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Former Baggies captain McInnes has impressed north of the border with both St Johnstone and Aberdeen, but his spell in the Championship with Bristol City ended poorly.

Solihull-born Potter has taken Ostersunds from the Swedish fourth tier to the Europa League, but represents a risk because he is yet to manage outside Sweden.

Michael O’Neill and Aitor Karanka were both interviewed in November before Pardew was appointed, but the Northern Ireland boss has signed a new contract and Karanka is now in charge of Nottingham Forest.

Pardew left the club on Easter Monday without saying goodbye to the players, who had been given the day off.

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He had a meeting with Jenkins and the board early in the morning after succumbing to his ninth straight defeat at the weekend.

Although the board had initially intended to keep Pardew until the summer, Albion’s abject first-half performance against Burnley and the half-empty Hawthorns prompted a rethink.

Jenkins had always planned to reassess Pardew’s position once the season finished, but he believed keeping him for the last six games would do too much long-term damage.

Speaking in Saturday’s programme notes, Jenkins said: “I intend the summer will see us conduct an overhaul which will re-set the club’s ‘operating manual’ and establish a fresh structure and vision for the long-term.

“I am fully aware that all our fans are hearing at the moment are easy words and future promises. We will be judged by our actions and I accept that.”

Matt Wilson

By Matt Wilson
Football MMPJ - @mattwilson_star

Sports reporter at the Express & Star, who primarily covers West Bromwich Albion.

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