Barnsley: Four short-listed for Oakwell hot seat

Shortlist: Kevin Blackwell is a candidate to become Reds manager.
Shortlist: Kevin Blackwell is a candidate to become Reds manager.
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BARNSLEY have drawn up a four-man shortlist for their new manager.

And The Star can exclusively reveal the club are hoping to unveil Keith Hill’s replacement next week, even as early as Monday.

Former Sheffield United boss Kevin Blackwell, former Sheffield Wednesday manager Gary Megson and ex Doncaster Rovers boss Sean O’Driscoll are all believed to be in the running for the vacant Oakwell hot seat, although Brentford boss Uwe Rowler is understood not to be on that list.

And interviews are understood to start today with the club keen to get somebody appointed before next week’s Yorkshire derby clash with Leeds United.

Megson and O’Driscoll are currently both unemployed having been sacked from their recent positions at the Owls and Nottingham Forest respectively, while ex Blades’ boss Blackwell is in charge of League One outfit Bury.

The Shakers are third from bottom in League One and Blackwell is believed to be at loggerheads with the Gigg Lane board over lack of funding to strengthen his squad.

Those problems are understood to have been one of the reasons Blackwell is interested in returning to the Championship with the Reds.

Yesterday club directors Don Rowing and Barry Taylor met with Barnsley owner Patrick Cryne to discuss the candidates for the new manager.

And speaking exclusively to The Star, Rowing said: “We had a very long discussion about the way forward. Patrick was an integral part of those discussions and now we’ve got to find Keith Hill’s replacement. In an ideal world we’d like to appoint somebody before next Saturday, but there’s a lot of water to be crossed before then. We’re working hard to find the right man for the job.”

David Flitcroft will remain as the club’s caretaker boss for tomorrow’s FA Cup third round clash with Burnley at Oakwell, but The Star understands Hill’s former assistant is unlikely to get the role on a permanent basis.

Former Fleetwood manager Micky Mellon and ex Hartlepool United boss Martin Scott will once again be helping Flitcroft as they did at Peterborough United in the club’s last match.

Mellon and Scott are both being paid expenses for their time, but are expected to leave when a new manager is finally appointed.

Meanwhile, Bolton Wanderers have tabled a bid believed to be £500,000 for the Reds’ leading scorer Craig Davies.

Wales international Davies, who has scored nine goals this season but not in his last eight matches, is understood to want away from Oakwell and has a buy-out clause in his contract which the Trotters have triggered.

“We’ve had one offer from Bolton for Craig and he’s talking to them,” revealed Rowing. “We’ve got no option but to let him talk to them because of the clause in his contract. It’s similar to Daniel Sturridge leaving Chelsea for Liverpool.”