Malky Mackay still in frame for Burnley FC boss

Malky Mackay
Malky Mackay

WATFORD boss Malky Mackay remains hotly tipped to take over the reins at Turf Moor.

But, at the time of going to press yesterday, Burnley’s search for their new boss was ongoing, with no formal approach for the Hornets chief.

The club was still working through candidates, having seen an official approach for Norwich City’s Paul Lambert rebuffed late on Thursday night.

Lambert later committed his future to the Canaries, but I understand the former Wycombe and Colchester boss cannot be entirely ruled out of the equation.

Bournemouth’s Eddie Howe remains in the frame, although Championship rivals Crystal Palace and League One promotion hopefuls Charlton Athletic are also keen to land the highly-rated 33-year-old.

Howe, however, is thought to have turned down the chance to take over at Selhurst Park.

He said after Bournemouth’s 3-0 win over Plymouth on Saturday that he had been offered a job, and faced a huge decision, but it appears he has rejected Palace and took training at Bournemouth yesterday morning.

Steve Clarke, meanwhile, linked with the position at Burnley back in January and also understood to have been interviewed last week, was named first team coach at Liverpool yesterday.

Sources in the south suggest Mackay is interested in the post at Turf Moor, however, an official approach - pre-empted on Sunday afternoon by Watford - had yet to materialise by lunchtime yesterday.

A simple statement from Vicarage Road insisted any approach would be knocked back in any case.

Watford chief executive Julian Winter said: “We have had no formal approach and if we did, we would reject it.”

Norwich were also unwilling to allow Lambert to talk to Burnley, responding to an official approach for the 41-year-old with a statement which read: “Under no circumstances would the club wish to grant permission.

“The club will fight tooth and nail to retain the services of Paul Lambert and his team during this critical period of the season and whilst they remain employed under a long-term contract.

“The club remain committed to Paul and his team in the long term and see them as a vital part of our plans.”

Lambert himself added on Friday: “I said last week there was nothing in the Burnley speculation.

“Today I said I was happy with the club’s statement and I meant it.

“I can’t stop speculation linking me with other clubs but I’ve said on numerous occasions before that I am happy here and that is still the case.

“The players and the fans have been tremendous for us since we joined here and what they have achieved over the last 16 months or so is absolutely phenomenal, as I keep saying.

“We’ve got a job to do here, and that’s what I want everyone to be focussing on.

“I want to put the speculation to bed - I’ve never had any intention of going elsewhere and nothing has changed.

“All the speculation is wide of the mark and hopefully now the rumour mill about the Burnley job can focus elsewhere and we can all move on.”