Carlisle rule out move for Clark
Managerless Carlisle United yesterday ruled out a swoop for Norwich assistant boss Lee Clark.The 36-year-old had been an early front runner to replace John Ward along with more experienced duo Steve Cotterill and ex-Derby chief Billy Davies.
Managerless Carlisle United have ruled out a swoop for Norwich assistant boss Lee Clark.
The 36-year-old had been an early front runner to replace John Ward along with more experienced duo Steve Cotterill and ex-Derby chief Billy Davies.
Clark made no secret of his desire to become a manager in his own right when he left boyhood club Newcastle to link up with Glenn Roeder a year ago.
But United chief executive David Allen appeared to dismiss the idea of any external appointment in the short-term after confirming caretaker boss Greg Abbott will have funds available to spend in the January transfer window.
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Abbott plotted an unbeaten seven-game stint at the helm last year prior to Ward's arrival following the dismissal of Clark's former Magpies' team mate Neil McDonald. Ex-Cheltenham chief Ward guided the Cumbrian strugglers to the League One play-offs but left by mutual consent following a nosedive down the table after a bright start to the new campaign.
Abbott's bid to succeed Ward on a permanent basis begins with Saturday's potential FA Cup first round banana skin at home to non league Grays.
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“It would be unfair to do it on a match-by-match basis,” said Allen. “We have to give Greg a fair crack at it. We haven't agreed an exact timescale but we have got to be looking at until the January transfer window has been and gone to see who he brings in and who he moves out. Compared to other clubs, Carlisle United is on a stable financial footing, we've got money in the bank and Greg will be able to do things in the transfer window.”
Ambitious Geordie Clark reportedly rejected a coaching role as part of Chris Coleman's backroom staff during the Welshman's ill-fated Spanish adventure at Real Sociedad before leaving St James' Park to rejoin Roeder.
Clark signed a two and half year Carrow Road deal to replace Jim Duffy in November 2007 but Allen denies the Cumbrians are poised to choose the cheap option. Out-going boss Ward is in line to net a sizeable pay-off, with nearly three years left to run on his current Brunton Park deal.
“We would have liked to spend that money on the team, but we have to spend it on what is best for the club,” said Allen. “We wanted John to make it work and gave him every opportunity. We went into each game hoping it would turn, but it hasn't worked.
“We have backed him and put off this decision, but eventually it had to be done. I'm disappointed by the people who want to see the negative side of everything. We will be doing what we believe is right and that is to give Greg an opportunity.”