McCabe orders ‘rigorous selection process’ in hunt for new Sheffield United manager

Kevin McCabe
Kevin McCabe
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SHEFFIELD United are unlikely to announce their new manager until after this month’s FA Youth Cup final, The Star has learned.

Although a quick appointment cannot entirely be ruled-out, Bramall Lane’s hierarchy are willing to wait up to a fortnight before picking Micky Adams’ successor from, what one insider described, as a list of “high-calibre” candidates.

United host their namesakes from Manchester in the first-leg of the showpiece event tomorrow (kick-off 7.30pm), before travelling to Old Trafford next week. Kevin McCabe, the club’s plc chairman, insisted that “key decisions” would be taken “sooner rather than later” after opting to dispense with Adams’ services following United’s relegation from the npower Championship.

But having acknowledged that instability both on and off the pitch has contributed to their predicament, McCabe has told his fellow directors that candidates must undergo a rigorous selection process before being offered the post.

Insisting that rather than adding to the confusion, Adams’ departure was in fact designed to usher in a new period of consistency behind the scenes, McCabe said:”Having spent time with Micky, reflecting on what’s happened and the strengths of Sheffield United, I was of the belief that to get into shape quicker it was best to cut the umbilical cord now rather than start the new season and potentially have the same problems.”

Adams became the fourth person to take charge of United since August when he arrived from Port Vale just after Christmas but was axed after winning only four of his 24 matches at the helm.

Roberto di Matteo is known to be among those who have expressed an interest in the vacant post with former Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley chief Danny Wilson also satisfying the board’s demand for someone capable of delivering substance and style after guiding Swindon into the League One play-off final 12 months ago. Crucially, he also boasts an in-depth knowledge of the lower leagues, having previously impressed at Hartlepool.

Di Matteo, like former Newcastle number one Chris Hughton, would have to substantially reduce his wage demands in order to be viewed as a serious contender. The Italian is believed to have earned in excess of £750,000 per annum at West Bromwich Albion.

Oxford’s Chris Wilder and Russell Slade of Leyton Orient also boast plenty of admirers among United’s support.