Doncaster Rovers ready to name boss

Rovers have called a press conference to announce the new boss with Paul Dickov the likely choice
Rovers have called a press conference to announce the new boss with Paul Dickov the likely choice
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Rovers will be thinking inside and outside the box when they unveil their new manager later today.

The club’s co-owners are set to meet this morning to officially rubberstamp their choice - with Paul Dickov still thought to be in pole position for the job.

Although very unlikely, given the practicalities involved in travelling to today’s pre-arranged press conference, there could yet be a late twist in the decision-making process.

Michael Appleton is believed to have impressed at an interview last week and the Star understands that another interview could yet take place before this afternoon’s 4pm press call.

The chances of the club calling a press conference yesterday without knowing the identity of their next manager would, however, appear to be slim.

Reports in the national press over the weekend suggested that long-term bookies favourite Dickov will be confirmed as Brian Flynn’s replacement today.

Motherwell boss Stuart McCall and former Scotland manager Craig Levein also made it onto the club’s four-man shortlist, according to Star sources.

However, it would be a major surprise if former Oldham manager Dickov, or the much-travelled Appleton, were not handed the difficult task of keeping Rovers in the Championship.

Both managers are understood to have impressed co-owners John Ryan, Terry Bramall and Dick Watson with their contacts and connections in the game - triggering a key point in Rovers’ stringent selection criteria.

Minus the financial clout of the majority of their Championship rivals, Rovers want to appoint a youthful coach who has the ability to develop and improve players on the training ground.

But with Rovers’ transfer budget set to be among the lowest in next season’s second tier, Doncaster’s hierarchy also want someone who will open up new avenues for player recruitment, particularly in terms of the loan market.

Both Dickov, who has close links to his former club Manchester City, and former Manchester United midfielder Appleton offer impressive contacts books.

Ryan is thought to be a keen admirer of 40-year-old Scot Dickov, who built a youthful Oldham Athletic side before leaving the League One outfit in February.

Appleton, 37, is understood to be keen on making a swift return to management despite a rollercoaster season which saw him manage Portsmouth, Blackpool and Blackburn before departing Ewood Park after just two months in the job.

The swift organisation of today’s press conference also underlines how keen Rovers are to get their man on board and get on with the job of planning Championship survival.

The new manager’s first job will be to tie down the nine players - Neil Sullivan, Jon Maxted, Andy Griffin, Liam Wakefield, Tommy Spurr, Paul Quinn, Paul Keegan, Kyle Bennett and Chris Brown - who the club announced on Friday will be offered new deals.

Goalkeeper Gary Woods, Jordan Ball, Martin Woods, Lee Fowler and Paddy Mullen have been released.

For the latest on Rovers’ managerial appointment visit www.thestar.co.uk.