Ex-Sheffield United and Middlesbrough manager Chris Wilder made shock favourite for EFL job

The ex-Sheffield United and Middlesbrough manager has been linked with a move to another EFL club
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Chris Wilder has been made the bookmakers’ favourite to be appointed at relegated Reading.

The former Sheffield United boss left Watford at the end of his short-term contract, with ex-West Brom and Barnsley head coach Valerien Ismael replacing him at the Hawthorns.

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Wilder oversaw the Blades’ promotion to the Premier League in 2019 as United enjoyed a strong first season back in the top flight as they secured a top-half finish.

They were relegated the following season as Wilder left his position in March 2021. He joined Middlesbrough later that year and guided the club to seventh in the Championship as the north east outfit just missed out on a play-off place.

He was sacked by Boro in October after a poor start to the season before being appointed at Watford in March 2023. He won just three games in charge at the Hornets, losing five and drawing the other three.

On Wilder’s departure, a club statement said: “The Hornets would like to place on record their thanks to Chris Wilder and his staff, whose short-term contracts have come to an end.

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“His 11-game spell began in March and finished after the season’s final-day win at home to Stoke City. We wish Chris, Alan Knill, Matt Prestridge and Mike Allen all the very best for their next opportunity in football.”

Wilder is also linked with the vacant position at Scottish Premiership side Hearts. Reading were relegated from the Championship with 44 points, five points behind Cardiff City in 21st and six behind QPR in 20th.

The club were hit with a six-point deduction prior to the end of the season, which proved costly to their second-tier status as they would have ended the season above both QPR and Cardiff without the penalty.

They have been searching for a permanent manager since sacking Paul Ince, with Noel Hunt appointed on an interim basis until the end of the season.

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Asked if he would like the role permanently, the former Reading and Leeds player said after Monday’s loss at Huddersfield Town: “I have not even thought about it. As far as I was told, this was until the end of the season and then who knows?

“I was pretty sure I was probably going back to the under-23s. But I have not had that conversation. So your guess is as good as mine.”

Next Reading manager odds (correct as of 9.30am, May 12, 2023)

Chris Wilder - 1/1

Danny Cowley - 4/1

Steve Cotterill - 4/1

Richie Wellens - 8/1

John O’Shea - 12/1

Noel Hunt - 12/1

Karl Robinson - 16/1

Graeme Murty - 20/1