Dave Jones has this week emerged as the unlikely frontrunner to become Blackpool’s next manager after two and a half years out of the game.
The 59-year-old’s last match as a manager was at Bloomfield Road in November 2013, when Blackpool beat his Sheffield Wednesday side 2-0 in the Championship and Jones was sacked the next day.
The ex-Southampton, Wolverhampton and Cardiff City boss has promotions on his CV and guided Wolves to the Premier League in the 2004.
However, it was the Seasiders who thwarted his bid to repeat the feat with Cardiff six years later, when Pool famously beat the Welsh club 3-2 in a Wembley play-off final. Jones was sacked the following summer, having again missed out in the play-offs.
Liverpudlian Jones, an Everton defender of the 1970s who ended his playing career with a season at Preston, is the bookies’ 6/4 favourite to take charge at relegated Pool after Neil McDonald was sacked eight days ago.
Having been in management almost continuously from 1995-2013, Jones would bring plenty of experience but he has never managed in the fourth tier, though he did win promotion with Stockport at the level above in his first managerial job.
Prior to that fateful defeat for his Sheffield Wednesday side at Bloomfield Road, Jones’ previous visit to Pool was for a goalless game in April 2013, when the Owls boss branded Blackpool’s pitch “a disgrace”.
Since losing his Hillsborough job Jones has been linked to a number of managerial vacancies and returned to Cardiff for a spell in an informal advisory role – again working with owner Vincent Tan, who had dismissed him three years earlier.
Also in 2014 he was linked to the vacancy at West Brom and last year he was reported to be one of 59 applicants to take charge of the Ivory Coast national side.
Keith Southern, a member of the Blackpool team which beat Jones’ Cardiff in the play-off final that has become part of Seasiders folklore, is another candidate for the Bloomfield Road job and was the bookies’ favourite until Jones came from nowhere to head the betting this week.
More predictable names towards the top of the betting are Shrewsbury Town’s former Fleetwood manager Micky Mellon (4-1) and legendary Pool boss Ian Holloway (14-1).