Deja vu as Latics’ top job comes up again

Mike Phelan (right) is favourite for the hot seat
Mike Phelan (right) is favourite for the hot seat
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THE list of potential new Wigan Athletic bosses had a definite feeling of deja vu - with a clutch of summer candidates once again again linked to the club.

Mike Phelan, Karl Robinson, Paul Jewell and Lee Clark - all previously linked to take over before Owen Coyle’s appointment in June - are once again listed as front runners to take over the hot-seat following the manager’s sacking yesterday.

At the start of the day Phelan was 3/1 second-favourite, but after a surge in betting the former United assistant was elevated to odds-on favourite – ahead of ex-Blackpool boss Ian Holloway (2/1).

The pair were last night still front-runners with the bookmakers, but the likes of Jewell, Robinson – and even Molde boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and ex-Sunderland manager Paulo di Canio – were also being touted.

Holloway left Blackpool for Crystal Palace last year with one of the major reasons cited being he would be closer to his family, who live in the south. But a move back to the north may not be out of the question.

The process of seeking a suitable replacement has only just started, and unlike the summer when Roberto Martinez’s departure seemed inevitable, it’s understood that the club had not planned for a premature departure.

Former Latics manager and current first team coach Graham Barrow will take charge for tomorrow’s game against Leeds United.

But with a hectic festive schedule featuring eight games in the next four weeks, Whelan will be keen to move swiftly to appoint a permanent successor.

Coyle, who signed a 12-month rolling contract in June, brought in his own staff, including assistant Sandy Stewart, who will assist Barrow for tomorrow’s Championship fixture at Elland Road.