Next Bolton Wanderers manager: The contenders

Next Bolton manager: The contenders
© PA Photos
Sports Mole assesses the five leading contenders to replace Owen Coyle as manager of Championship outfit Bolton Wanderers.

Championship side Bolton Wanderers decided to sack Scottish manager Owen Coyle after two-and-a-half years in charge of the club earlier today.

Despite the managerial hotseat at the Reebok Stadium only being vacant for a few hours, a number of bosses have already been linked with vacancy.

Here, Sports Mole brings you the five men that are currently considered to be the leading contenders to replace Coyle.

Mick McCarthy

Former Republic of Ireland coach McCarthy has been deemed the early favourite for the role by numerous bookmakers. He would come with the knowledge of getting a side promoted from the Championship, having led both Sunderland and Wolverhampton Wanderers to the Premier League. With Bolton eager to return to the top flight, that experience may well appeal. However, doubts remain as to whether McCarthy would be keen. It is believed that he would like to secure a job in the Premier League.
Odds: 6/4

Alex McLeish

It would be fair to say that McLeish's last two jobs have not gone to plan. Despite guiding Birmingham City to a League Cup success, they were relegated in the same season. He then switched to rivals Aston Villa and was sacked at the end of the last campaign following a string of negative results. Having said that, he did guide the Blues to promotion from the Championship in 2009.
Odds: 8/1

Sammy Lee:

Lee's inclusion on this list may come as surprise to many people. After all, the ex-Liverpool player had an infamous 11-match spell in charge of Wanderers in 2007 after Sam Allardyce had left the Reebok Stadium. He was brought back to the club by Coyle and has impressed many with his work at the club's academy. Chairman Phil Gartside has put him in interim charge while the search takes place.
Odds: 10/1

Dougie Freedman:

ESPN's Rebecca Lowe recently told Sports Mole that current Crystal Palace manager Freedman is a club legend. The job that he has done on a limited budget at Selhurst Park has been admired by many and despite being committed to the Eagles, the temptation of managing a club with greater funds and squad could prove too much of a temptation for the Scot. Chairman Gartside has history of giving managers a chance to prove themselves and Freedman fits the bill.
Odds: 11/1

Roy Keane:

Irishman Keane has previous when it comes to getting clubs promoted from the Championship to the Premier League. He was named manager of the year in 2007 as he guided Sunderland back to the top flight. His spell at Ipswich Town was not successful and he has been out of work since leaving Portman Road in January 2011. If Bolton are looking to appoint a 'big name' then they don't come much bigger than the former Manchester United captain.

Sam Allardyce
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