Speculation begins as first two names linked to Blackpool vacancy emerge

The first two names to be linked with Blackpool’s head coach vacancy have emerged this afternoon.

Sunday, 5th June 2022, 3:57 pm
Updated Sunday, 5th June 2022, 4:14 pm

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Neil Critchley’s surprise Blackpool departure to link up with Aston Villa feels ...

The 43-year-old left Bloomfield Road to link up with former Liverpool colleague Steven Gerrard to take on the assistant role at Aston Villa.

The job at Villa Park was left vacant after Gerrard’s former number two Michael Beale, who also worked with him at Rangers, left to become QPR’s new boss.

Blackpool legend and current Bolton Wanderers manager Ian Evatt was the first name to shoot to the top of the bookies’ odds due to his well-known links to the club.

Evatt was interviewed the last time the job became available when Critchley replaced Simon Grayson, who was sacked in February 2020.

Both Grayson and Michael Appleton, another former Pool boss, are two and three in the bookies’ odds respectively.

The Seasiders are now on the lookout for a new head coach

Oxford United boss Karl Robinson, who Blackpool wished to speak to last time, MK Dons chief Liam Manning and Stockport County’s former AFC Fylde manager Dave Challinor are also included in the betting.

However, this afternoon talkSPORT’s football correspondent Alex Crook has claimed Michael Duff and Dean Holden are two of the names being considered.

Duff, a former Burnley and Cheltenham Town defender, is currently in charge of the latter, guiding the Robins to the League Two title during the 2020/21 campaign.

The 44-year-old guided the Gloucestershire outfit to a comfortable 15th placed finish in League One this term, 16 points clear of safety.

The Northern Irishman is also under consideration for the current vacancy at Barnsley and, according to local reports in Cheltenham, is due to speak to the Yorkshire outfit on Monday.

Holden, meanwhile, is the current assistant manager to Michael O’Neill at Stoke City.

The 42-year-old, who enjoyed a 16-year playing career playing for a host of clubs, has previously managed Oldham Athletic and Bristol City.