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Next Ipswich Manager Odds: Who is in the running to replace Paul Cook?

Paul Cook left on Saturday night
Paul Cook left on Saturday night

Ipswich Town chairman Mike O’Leary targeted Premier League football after Gamechanger 20 Ltd took control of the club back in April, while promotion to the Championship was the “immediate aim”.

A month earlier Ipswich had appointed three-time EFL title-winner Paul Cook as Paul Lambert’s replacement, only for the club to slide to 9th in League One after registering four wins from 16 games. 

A slow start to the current campaign following a huge summer overhaul in which Cook handpicked a plethora of new recruits has seen his American employers pull the plug following a goalless draw at home to Barrow in the FA Cup. Cook will no doubt feel aggrieved at the decision, although he already finds himself in the Fleetwood, Doncaster, and Oldham manager markets.

Cook leaves Ipswich, one of the ante-post favourites for the title, 11th in League One; seven-points adrift of the play-off places; and 11 points off the second automatic promotion spot.

"At this moment, there is no one lined up to replace Paul,” Town CEO Mark Ashton said in a statement on Saturday night.

“There will be an extensive search to find the best replacement for the Club.

"I will communicate more to the media and our supporters on Monday."

Below we take more in-depth look at the early names in the frame for the job...

The Ipswich job will always attract widespread interest, perhaps even more so on this occasion given the buckets of talent available within the squad. There’s no question that the club have alarmingly underperformed this term, but there’s still over half-of-the-season left to be played, meaning the new incumbent will have every chance of sparking a push for promotion.

So, who will Ipswich appoint?

John McGreal, who only joined the club last week in an academy role, has been installed as one of the early frontrunners in the betting. McGreal, a former Tractor Boys defender, could well find himself in temporary charge of the first team - we should find out on Monday - although only time will tell if he’s a serious candidate for the top-job. 

The 49-year-old previously spent four years managing Colchester, whom he took to the League Two play-offs, then spent 30 days in charge of Swindon - leaving because of issues with the ownership. U23s boss Kieron Dyer could also be involved in some capacity.

Neil Harris new favourite for Ipswich job but is he the right fit?

Neil Harris has been installed as the new favourite in the betting for the Ipswich Town job. The former Millwall and Cardiff boss is now as short as evens (BetVictor) - best-priced 7/4 with William Hill - for the League One vacancy,…

It’s no surprise to see Lincoln manager Michael Appleton (8/1) in the frame. Not just because of his managerial ability but his link to Ashton, who appointed him at Oxford back in 2014. It proved to be a shrewd decision as Appleton went on to win automatic promotion from League Two and twice led the U’s to Football League Trophy finals before leaving to become an assistant at Leicester.

Appleton has since fired Lincoln to a League One play-off final last term, nearly conjuring up a stunning promotion on a limited budget. The Imps have, however, experienced a tough season to date with Appleton’s men just three places above the drop zone.

Could Michael Appleton be an option?
Could Michael Appleton be an option?

Another manager who has caught the eye in the early stages of the market opening is Liam Manning (6/1). The 36-year-old has only overseen 24 games since taking charge of MK Dons in August but he’s already stamped his mark on the club. September’s League One Manager of the Month has his side 6th in the table, complete with an attractive brand of football.

“It is quite unique to League One,” he recently told The Athletic. “You don’t see many teams as extreme as we are. Possession. Build-up from goal kicks. In terms of controlling the ball.”

Manning may be a young boss but he has been honing his coaching skills for some time, having worked in Ipswich’s academy in his 20s before venturing off to West Ham (U23s) where he worked with current captain Declan Rice. The City Football Group then lured him over to New York City FC as an academy director, which was followed by his first senior post at Belgian second-tier club Lommel SK.

On current showing he has a very bright future ahead of him.

Another League One manager whose star is shining brightly is Ryan Lowe. A League Two promotion-winner with Bury and Plymouth, he currently has the latter challenging for promotion to the Championship, and is a 20/1 shot in the betting for the Ipswich hot-seat.

Neil Harris (5/1) has previously whipped up a League One promotion campaign during his time at Millwall, while he nearly led Cardiff into the Premier League. He’s currently available for hire, as is former-Norwich boss Alex Neil (25/1) who led the Canaries into the Premier League, then did a creditable job at Preston.

Both bosses will no doubt see their futures in the Championship dugout, but given Ipswich’s size, resources, and ambitions it’s an opening that they could well be attracted to. We saw Lee Johnson do this last season. He had been managing in the Championship with Bristol City for four-and-a-half-years, then after a few months in the Job Centre he opted to return to management with third-tier Sunderland a year ago.

Johnson had Sunderland top of League One earlier this season, but frustrations have been bubbling away in recent weeks after a dip in form. He now finds himself a 10/1 shot to switch League One dugouts. The main reason behind this is likely to be the fact he was previously appointed Bristol City head coach by Ipswich CEO Ashton.

Ipswich give update on next manager search as surprise new names are linked

Ipswich Town have unveiled their interim manager following Saturday’s sacking of Paul Cook, while Gary Roberts, Franny Jeffers, Ian Craney and John Keeley have also now left the club. The Tractor Boys opted to cut ties with…

Frank Lampard features in the betting
Frank Lampard features in the betting

If Ipswich opt to go down the experienced route again then Neil Warnock, Chris Hughton, and Steve Bruce could all be considered (each 25/1), while high-profile young managers looking for their first crack on the touchline include Michael Carrick (14/1) and John Terry (16/1).

Frank Lampard would no doubt be an exciting and ambitious appointment, yet perhaps out of reach. Although the former Chelsea and Derby boss did come into just 7/2 in the betting on Sunday morning.

Ex-Ipswich player Frank Yallop has also emerged as a key contender in the market. The 57-year-old has accumulated 20 years of managerial experience in North America where he’s won two MLS Cups and been named the MLS Coach of the Year on two occasions, while he worked under Ipswich’s American owners at Phoenix Rising. “They’re forward-thinking, experienced and I feel really good about what they’re going to do now in Ipswich,” the current Monterey Bay FC head coach told eadt.co.uk in April.

Former Aberdeen boss Derek McIness is out at 25/1, while Jonathan Woodgate is a 33/1 outsider. Meanwhile, given that the club seemingly have a tendency to appoint a manager called Paul - the last three have been named so - you can back Paul Ince and Paul Simpson out at 33/1.

League One Promotion Odds

Sheffield Wednesday
WIN PROB: 87%
1
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1/7
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1/7
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Ipswich
WIN PROB: 71%
1
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2/5
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2/5
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2/5
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Plymouth Argyle
WIN PROB: 50%
1
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1/1
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1/1
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5/6
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Derby
WIN PROB: 42%
1
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7/5
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6/5
Bolton Wanderers
WIN PROB: 17%
1
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5/1
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3/1
REVEAL OFFER
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Barnsley
WIN PROB: 18%
1
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4/1
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Peterborough
WIN PROB: 15%
1
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5/1
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Wycombe Wanderers
WIN PROB: 6%
1
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Portsmouth
WIN PROB: 3%
1
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Shrewsbury
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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Charlton Athletic
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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Exeter
WIN PROB: 1%
1
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Port Vale
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Oxford United
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Bristol Rovers
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Lincoln City
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Cheltenham
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Accrington Stanley
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Fleetwood Town
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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REVEAL OFFER
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Cambridge United
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Milton Keynes Dons
WIN PROB: 0%
1
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Morecambe
WIN PROB: 0%
Forest Green Rovers
WIN PROB: 0%
Burton Albion
WIN PROB: 0%
Odds correct as of 2023-02-07 11:24 Odds subject to change.
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