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Sat 28 May16:00
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Next Walsall Manager Odds: The early contenders to replace Matt Taylor

Walsall parted ways with Matt Taylor after seven successive defeats
Walsall parted ways with Matt Taylor after seven successive defeats

Walsall have sacked Matt Taylor following a run of seven successive defeats.

Appointed head coach in May 2021, the League Two club have taken decisive action eight months later in an attempt to stop an alarming slump.

The nadir came on Tuesday away to rock-bottom Scunthorpe, who themselves had taken zero points from their last seven games. It represented the ideal opportunity for former Portsmouth player Taylor to halt the rot and pick up valuable points, instead his side lost to 10 men.

“It’s the lowest I’ve been, and the lowest the players have been,” Taylor said after the result, which left the struggling Saddlers 21st in the table, just four points above the relegation zone. 

It proved to be a tough learning curve for Taylor in his first job in management, which followed coaching spells at Tottenham and Swindon. "I didn't want to [part company],” Walsall Chairman Leigh Pomlett revealed in a video on Wednesday morning. "It was a difficult situation to be in because I have a huge amount of regard for Matt; his integrity, honesty & hard work. But losing seven games on the bounce which on all sort of levels is unacceptable."

Pomlett has confirmed that first team coach Neil McDonald and Mat Sadler have been placed in interim charge for the club’s next game against Tranmere on Saturday, while Technical Director Jamie Fullarton has been tasked with finding Taylor’s successor.

Football Tips

Walsall have now had three managers depart in the space of a year, with Darrell Clarke leaving for Port Vale last February, while Brian Dutton lasted until the summer, before the arrival of Taylor.

Caretaker McDonald features as one of the names in the newly-opened next Walsall manager market, which is predictably wide-open at this early stage.

In terms of managers who are available for hire, there’s Steve Evans who left League One side Gillingham earlier in the year. The Scot has an abundance of EFL experience from spells at Rotherham, Crawley, Leeds, Mansfield, and Peterborough.

The likes of Michael Flynn, Chris Beech, Richie Wellens, Sol Campbell, Keith Curle, and Alex Revell are all nestled in the Job Centre, as are experienced veterans such as Nigel Adkins, Ian Holloway, Tony Pulis, Mick McCarthy, and of course Neil Warnock.

Alex Neil and Grant McCann are both looking for work but given their respective records a dip down into League Two is unlikely, although with that said Paul Cook is being linked with a return to non-league Chesterfield, so you can't rule anything out.

Ipswich U23s boss John McGreal could be an option and Russell Penn may attract attention following his FA Cup exploits with Kidderminster Harriers.

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