Fleetwood Town chairman drops next manager hint in search for Simon Grayson's replacement
Finally, an update on Fleetwood Town’s search for a new manager.
It’s now been three weeks since the League One club parted ways with Simon Grayson following a dire run of seven defeats in eight games.
We’ve seen a range of managers linked, including Chris Beech, Michael Flynn, John O'Shea, and Jamie Milligan, although the betting has gone a tad quiet of late.
However, Fleetwood chairman Andy Pilley has dropped a hint on who could become the next manager at Highbury Stadium, and it’s very close to home.
“We’ve had lots of applicants,” Pilley told the club’s official website. “I’ve spent a reasonable amount of time, a significant amount of time with Stephen Crainey and I’ve been very impressed so far, there seems to be a buzz around the place.
“I’m really pleased that we managed to pick up two wins this week, we didn’t just sneak wins I thought they were outstanding performances.
“In the search, we will take stock and make sure we do the right thing. We’re not going to make and quick decisions, but Stephen’s got a great opportunity to impress us.”
Since being named interim boss Crainey has picked up seven points from four league games including consecutive wins over Bolton and Gillingham. In contrast Grayson could only register six points from his final 10 games.
The joint 5/4 favourite in the betting has therefore put himself in an excellent position should he be interested in the job, with Pilley not only impressed by the 43-year-old's passion but how he’s got the respect of his players.
In past years we’ve seen Fleetwood hand jobs to first-timers, including Joey Barton and Graham Alexander. Could Crainey be next in-line?
If Crainey, who has managed five games in total, hits the 10 game mark then he will automatically ‘win’ the betting market.
While Pilley sung Crainey’s praises, he did add: “To external people, please keep the applications coming in if you’re a manager who thinks you’re capable of managing Fleetwood and assisting us to climb the table.”
So, while Crainey now appears to be in pole position after recent performances, the club's search for a new manager is by no means over just yet.
Ex-Carlisle boss Chris Beech sits alongside Crainey at 5/4, Bamber Bridge's Jamie Milligan is available at 6/1, former Newport manager Michael Flynn can be found at 12/1 while John O’Shea can be backed at 14/1 to start his managerial career off at Fleetwood - full odds below.
On a final note, when questioned on whether he’d lost interest after 18 years Pilley said the fire still burned brightly and despite the club’s troubles this season relegation was simply not an option: “Relegation is not an option, failure is not an option in anything I do, certainly not at Fleetwood. We will climb this table, we’ll shuffle the pack, and we will continue to succeed as we’ve always done.”