Sheffield Wednesday: Owls ready to act fast

Stuart Pearce. Picture: : Rebecca Naden/PA Wire.
Stuart Pearce. Picture: : Rebecca Naden/PA Wire.
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Relegation-haunted Sheffield Wednesday are expected to make a quick managerial appointment after sacking Dave Jones last night, The Star understands.

Stuart Pearce has been installed as the early favourite with the bookmakers to land the vacant job following Jones’ departure. The 51-year-old has been out of work since June following the end of his six-year spell as England Under-21 coach and it is thought he is keen on a return to management.

Paolo Di Canio, a fans favourite during his time as a player at Hillsborough, has also been linked with the role. The charismatic Italian was sacked by Sunderland in September after a controversial spell at the Premier League strugglers.

Benito Carbone, another Owls old boy, is poised to express an interest, having learned his trade in his home country of Italy.

Over the last two and a half years, Carbone has coached or managed at three Italian clubs. He recently said he dreams of managing Wednesday one day.

Ian Holloway, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Alex McLeish, Michael Appleton and Phil Brown could also be contenders as Wednesday start to draft their shortlist.

Jones, who steered the Owls to promotion last year, was axed after Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Blackpool, having overseen just one win this season. Wednesday have failed to keep a clean sheet all season. In 81 matches in charge, the Liverpudlian’s record reads 29 victories and 30 defeats with a win ratio of 36 per cent. His contract didn’t expire until the summer of 2015.

Jermaine Johnson tweeted: “It is never nice to see someone lose their job...wishing Dave [Jones] and his family all the best. If it wasn’t for Dave, I don’t think I would still be here.”

Wednesday are 23rd, six points adrift of safety. Coach Stuart Gray could be put in charge of first-team affairs on a temporary basis and may be assisted by development coach Lee Bullen.