ROTHERHAM UNITED have begun the search for a fifth manager in the space of 13 months after sacking Alan Stubbs, with a host of candidates having already contacted the club about the vacant post.
Stubbs was axed following a meeting yesterday morning after just 140 days at the helm, with the ex-Hibernian boss paying the price for the club’s torrid start to the campaign.
The Millers are currently six points behind the side currently fourth from bottom in Blackburn Rovers, with the club likely to act quickly once they identity their prefered candidate.
A number of names have been linked with the post, most notably former Wolves and Millwall chief Kenny Jackett, who left Molineux at the end of July and is understood to have been spoken about as an option by the Millers.
Vastly-experienced Jackett, 54, has been heavily backed to succeed Stubbs, with his odds shortening last night.
Intriguingly, ex-Millers chief Steve Evans – who parted company with the Millers just over a year ago – is another frontrunner.
Stuart Gray, who is believed to have had his admirers in the Millers boardroom in the past, has also been linked, along with popular former defender Paul Hurst, who is currently in charge at League Two outfit Grimsby Town. Bristol City’s first-team coach John Pemberton is another name in the frame.
Despite chairman Tony Stewart stressing that Stubbs’ job was safe during the recent international break, the Millers’ woeful defensive statistics and wretched recent form, especially on the road, have clearly forced the board to reconsider following no upturn after the fortnight-long break.
Successive defeats to Norwich City and Birmingham City took their losing away streak at the start of the season to a club record seven games, with the Millers having conceded a colossal 23 goals – at an average of over three goals per game.
All told, the Millers have lost their past six games and are without a win in nine matches ahead of Saturday’s home encounter with Reading, with Stubbs securing just one victory in his 13 Championship matches in charge. A Millers statement read: “Rotherham United have parted company with first team manager Alan Stubbs and assistant John Doolan and first-team coach Andy Holden with immediate effect.
“Following a board meeting this (Wednesday) morning, it was felt that a change of first-team management was needed to give the club the best possible opportunity to preserve our Championship status.
“The club would like to place on record our thanks to Alan, John and Andy for their effort and professionalism and we wish them well for the future.
“The board have now started the process of appointing a new first-team manager.”
Stubbs’ final match in charge saw the Millers lose 4-2 at Birmingham City on Tuesday, with ironically St Andrews also the venue for former boss Evans’ final game at the helm in September 2015.
Despite another loss for the Millers, Stubbs – who took on at Rotherham at the start of June, revealed his determination to ride the storm – insisting he was no quitter.
The 45-year-old, speaking after the game, said: “It is football. I enjoy and love doing what I do.
“I am new into this (at Rotherham) and had relative success at my previous club. I have come to Rotherham and it is a project.
“It has certainly not gone the way I would have liked it to. But if you are looking for a quitter, you are talking to the wrong guy.
“I have a lot of personal pride and it really hurts me.”
Fitness coach Paul Warne and goalkeeping coach Andy Dibble will take charge of first team duties until an appointment is made.