Jewell might be tempted to wait

JONATHAN REDHEAD The race to become the next manager of Norwich City started to hot up yesterday as reports suggested the bookies favourite for the hot-seat is a man in demand.


The race to become the next manager of Norwich City started to hot up yesterday as reports suggested the bookies favourite for the hot-seat is a man in demand.

Stories surfaced that former Wigan boss Paul Jewell may not be heading for Carrow Road and could be staying in the north west instead - to replace beleaguered Bolton manager Sammy Lee.

Reports claim Lee has just a fortnight to try to turn around Wanderers' disappointing season, with fellow Scouser Jewell earmarked as the man to replace him at the Reebok Stadium should things not pan out.

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Jewell had been instantly touted as the favourite to replace Peter Grant in Norfolk.And despite the links with Bolton, his odds shortened even further with some bookmakers yesterday, although the man himself has yet to publicly comment on his future.

But one big mover among the bookies' runners and riders has been former City legend Ian Crook. He is quoted as short as 5/1 in some places to take over from Grant, despite not really featuring among the initial list of candidates during the past couple of days.

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Crook, who has had coaching and assistant manager posts in Japan and Australia, was rumoured to be among the frontrunners when the Canaries sacked Nigel Worthington last year and it's claimed he was interviewed for the job before being pipped at the post by Grant.

Now the former midfielder's name has cropped up again and he is rated by some as second favourite behind Jewell.

Southend boss Steve Tilson is another market mover, his odds having shortened from 33-1 to 16-1. Tilson was viewed as a strong contender to take over when Worthington left the club this time last year.

Since then his side have been relegated from the Championship but the Shrimpers are going well this season in League One and Tilson remains one of the most highly thought of young managers around.

Another whose odds have shortened is former City player and Ipswich Town boss Joe Royle. Quoted as an outsider, Royle's odds have come in dramatically during the past 48 hours and he is now reckoned to be among the serious contenders for the post, despite being out of management for almost 18 months since his spell with the Tractorboys.

Former Sheffield Wednesday defender Nigel Pearson, currently on the coaching staff at Newcastle, is also moving in the right direction and is now rated a 16-1 chance.

One man who has definitely left the running was Neil Warnock, who was yesterday unveiled as Crystal Palace's new boss, while his predecessor Peter Taylor, is being heavily linked with his former club Gillingham, who he led to promotion to the Championship in 2000.

Other names that appeared highly among the early predictions as people to replace Grant have seen their chances of succeeding the Scot lengthen, according to the bookies.

Former Luton boss Mike Newell, Mark Bowen, Martin Allen and Jim Duffy have all drifted, while current Birmingham boss Steve Bruce is a non-mover, and current third favourite.

The usual suspects of Glenn Hoddle and Peter Reid are still rated at around the 14/1 mark by Bet365, the only major bookmakers currently running a book on the identity of the next Canaries boss.

Meanwhile City chief executive Neil Doncaster says the Canaries board will firstly decide what attributes the next manager should have before making a decision on his identity.

"What the board will do is sit down and very carefully look at what the attributes are that we think the next manager of this football club needs," he said.

"Against those attributes we will then look at all of the candidates that are out there, at other clubs and in the market place and we will identify the person who is best placed to take the club from where it should not be into a situation where we should be and challenging for promotion.

"I think what's important that we do is identify what we're looking for as attributes, what the next manager of this football club will look like, and then look at all the people who are out there - internal, external, at clubs, not at clubs - all of the people who could fit the bill.

"It's a question of looking at all the people out there and assessing who is the best one to take the club forward and that's what we'll do."

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