Mick favourite to take over at Portman Road

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Ipswich are currently interviewing a shortlist of candidates for their managerial vacancy, meaning reports that Barnsley-born Mick McCarthy is on the verge of being appointed at Portman Road are premature at least.

Town chief executive Simon Clegg has confirmed the club’s selection process has whittled down the number of applicants after 40 managers put their name into the hat. Former Wolves boss McCarthy had emerged as the firm frontrunner for the job, with some bookmakers offering him at 1/6 favourite to fill the Town hot-seat following Paul Jewell’s departure last week.

“We received a number of applications for the manager’s position from many well respected names in football,” Clegg said.

“Having sifted through the applicants, we have now drawn up our shortlist and interviews are underway.”

The Suffolk club want to a make a managerial appointment this week ahead of Saturday’s Championship trip to Birmingham.

Whether McCarthy lands the job remains to be seen but it appears the matter is not as cut and dry as is speculated.

The South Yorkshireman, sacked by Wolves in February, has been strongly linked to the position ever since Jewell parted ways by mutual consent last Wednesday, while he has also been rumoured to be on the radar of Crystal Palace.

Other potential candidates include the likes of Alan Curbishley, George Burley, Alan Shearer and Owen Coyle. Jewell’s former assistant Chris Hutchings took caretaker charge of matters last weekend.

But an abject 3-0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday only intensified the need for a swift appointment. Town find themselves cut adrift at the foot of the Championship, nursing a 12-match winless sequence.