Ferguson steps in to help out, and will talk over long-term

Blackpool's Barry Ferguson
Blackpool's Barry Ferguson
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Barry Ferguson will take charge of training tomorrow morning and is the firm favourite to become Blackpool’s next manager.

The Seasiders skipper is the odds-on bookies’ favourite for the job following the sacking of Paul Ince yesterday and he could be at the helm for Saturday’s home clash with Doncaster.

Midfielder Ferguson, who turns 36 on February 2, is believed to be interested in talking to chairman Karl Oyston about the role.

At present he has not been handed the caretaker role and will simply stand-in to take the players for training on Thursday.

After their usual Wednesday off, the Pool squad could return to training tomorrow with a whole new coaching staff.

If no appointment is made today, it’s expected John Murphy and table-topping youth team boss Richie Kyle will step-up to assist Ferguson tomorrow.

After a run of nine defeats in 10 games, Ince and his assistants, Alex Rae and Steve Thompson, had their contracts terminated after training yesterday.

The trio were contacted via text and asked to attend a meeting with club secretary Matt Williams.

Ince was away working for his coaching badge, but Rae and Thompson did report to Bloomfield Road, where they were given the option to resign.

They both declined and were then informed by Williams that their contracts were being terminated. With no response from Ince, it’s believedhis sacking was confirmed by post this morning.

While fans welcomed the departure of Ince and Rae, many were stunned by the news Thompson would also leave.

Popular Thompson joined the club as a Centre of Excellence coach in 2005, then was promoted to first-team coach by Simon Grayson the following year. When Ian Holloway became Blackpool manager in summer 2009, Thompson stayed on as his assistant.

He had three spells as caretaker manager, two of them in quick succession last season.

None of the sacked trio was available to comment last night. Fitness coach Shaun Spencer, goalkeeper coach Tony Warner and first-team analyst Adam Dixon remain at the club.

Ince exited the day after Blackpool Supporters’ Association issued a vote of no-confidence in the manager,

BSA chairman Glenn Bowley supports the club’s action. He said: “It’s the right decision. That was the decision I think the overwhelming majority of fans wanted.

“After Saturday, if not the week before, it really was Karl’s only choice.

“We’d like to acknowledge the work Paul Ince has done. He kept us up last season after taking over a club which was in a bit of a mess. However you have to say he leaves us as he found us.

“We need someone to come in and get us out of the dreadful run we are on. It was a decision which had to be made and one which some would argue should have been made earlier. We have to find the right person.”

Chairman Oyston and secretary Williams will today begin the search for a new manager.

The pair are talking to a number of candidates and were expected to hold talks with Ferguson over the vacant job.

Skybet odds on the next Pool boss:

Barry Ferguson 1/3

Owen Coyle 4/1

Steve Thompson 13/2

Marian Pahars, Paul Hartley 12/1

Andy Morrell, Kevin Phillips, Phil Parkinson, Karl Robinson, Tony Adams, Gareth Southgate, Steve Kean, Stuart Pearce, all 25/1.