Burnley closing in on new boss?

BURNLEY hope to announce their new manager from a shortlist of “three or four” candidates by the end of the week.

And I understand the club may also go down the path of naming a director of football in a revamp of their current structure.

Several of the managers the Burnley board have spoken to are relatively inexperienced, and if one such rookie is to take over from Eddie Howe, he may well have to liaise with a more senior figure.

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Promotion-winning former Clarets midfielders Warren Joyce – Manchester United’s reserve team boss – and Graham Alexander remain in the frame.

Joyce, who spoke to the board early last week, as revealed by Express Sport, spent three years with Burnley from 1993-96, before managing Hull between 1998-2000.

He also spent time as boss at Royal Antwerp, before joining Ole Gunnar Solksjaer as joint reserve team 
manager in 2008, taking the reins when Solksjaer left for Molde in 2010.

Alexander, who played for the club between 2007-11, captaining the side in the Premier League, is now head of youth at former club Preston, after retiring at the end of last season after scoring with the last kick of his last game against Charlton.

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Steve Davis – mark one – is another who could make a return to Turf Moor, 21 years after he left as a player.

The 47-year-old guided Crewe into League One in May via a Wembley play-off final, having taken charge last November from Dario Gradi. Another candidate is Portsmouth’s Michael Appleton, who is another with only a year as a manager, though he coached at West Brom for seven years after injury curtailed his playing career.

More experienced contenders come in the shape of Barnsley’s Keith Hill, who guided Rochdale into League One in 2010 before moving to Oakwell, and the vastly-experienced Mick McCarthy, who boasts promotion to the Premier League with Sunderland and Wolves, as well as taking the Republic of Ireland to the 2002 World Cup.

McCarthy was established as the top choice of the board, but he has also interested Bolton and Blackburn, and all has gone quiet on that front.

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John Banaszkiewicz spoke about the timescale on Saturday: “It’s quite difficult right now to pick the best one because there are three or four really capable and hungry candidates for the job.

“I hope we will have an answer, probably by next weekend in terms of who that candidate is.

“But at this stage we’re not sure. My co-chairman Mike (Garlick) and I don’t quite think ‘yes, that’s the guy’ yet, so I think a second time round would be good, and we’ll bring in Barry (Kilby), Brendan (Flood) and Clive (Holt) for the DNA to try to work out which one of those three or four is best.

“I think we’ll have a decision by the end of next week.”

Banaszkiewicz and Garlick have met with at least 15 candidates, and will narrow those down to match the profile they require: “They are quite similar.

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“I’ve been really impressed with the desire to come and manage Burnley because they see the prospects.

“Some of them are at good clubs at the moment, but they see the potential, and Burnley were in the Premier (League) three years ago, and they think they can repeat that.

“They see us as being ambitious, and also as being a stable club.

“If you look at Blackburn, and even Bolton with their financial affairs, that’s some reason why some people don’t apply there.

“They feel Burnley’s a bit more stable and a proper club.”

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Banaszkiewicz believes Burnley are in a great position to make the right appointment: “It’s a good position to be in really.

“I’m fairly new to this so it’s been quite an eye opener for me because I’ve been able to understand about how other clubs work, how their structures are working, how their scouting and how their technical analysis works. It’s been quite an eye opener really, and we’ve been learning as we go along about how we can do things better at Burnley.

“I think most of them said Burnley has got a very good reputation, a solid club with some good talent within the team.

“There are some areas you can always pick from other clubs which you can hopefully do better.

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“We kind of want to utilise a little bit of the platform that Eddie’s built in terms of the infrastructure and the youth and the training and the systems and then kind of move it on.

“What we need is a very strong man-manager right now to get the most out of the team to motivate them to do better, and obviously tighten up the defence.”

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