Stuart Gray eager to continue at Burnley FC

Burnley FC caretaker manager Stuart Gray
Burnley FC caretaker manager Stuart Gray

BURNLEY caretaker boss Stuart Gray hopes to stay on at Turf Moor after his initial three-game caretaker period came to an end.

The former Southampton and Northampton Town boss led the club to two wins and a defeat, progressing to the fourth round of the FA Cup with a 4-2 win over Port Vale on Saturday.

And he will stay in contact with chairman Barry Kilby and operational director Brendan Flood over his uncertain Turf Moor future.

The board made an official approach to Norwich City on Thursday for manager Paul Lambert, which the Canaries turned down, before Lambert committed his future to the Carrow Road club.

The search was stepped up in the aftermath of Saturday’s FA Cup third round victory over Port Vale, with Kilby stating: “I would tonight (Saturday) like to stress to supporters that Paul Lambert (Norwich City manager) was only one of a number of targets we would like to interview for the post of Burnley manager.

“There are other targets, but someone had to be the first and Paul was already in employment, so we acted through the proper channels and made a formal enquiry to speak to Paul.

“Obviously, this was refused and we respect Paul and Norwich’s decision, and now we move on to the other persons on the shortlist. There were half a dozen names on our shortlist and the task starts again.

“I do think the situation needs to be resolved as quickly as we can, but we cannot let that be the overriding factor. It is about appointing the right man for the job to take this club forward.”

The club have been strongly linked with a formal approach to Watford with a view to speaking to manager Malky Mackay, though Hornett’s chief executive Julian Winter insisted that it would be rejected, if and when it happened.

But Gray, popular with the players, would love to stay at Turf Moor: “I’ve sat down with the chairman and he kept me informed, that they’re going through drawing up a shortlist and interviewing people.

“That’s my three games over now and I’ll probably sit down with him on again and hopefully by QPR on Saturday I’ll still be in work.”

He added: “It’s a great job, don’t get me wrong. More often than not when jobs come around teams are struggling.

“There’s a great bunch of lads in there, a great squad, great attacking options, a great team spirit and we’re just outside the play-offs.

“That’s unusual at this stage, normally you’re inheriting a team that is at the foot of the table.”