Darren Ferguson could be set for a return to Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The Molineux club were relegated from the Championship on Saturday afternoon, meaning they will play in the third-tier of English football next season for the first time since 1989. This has resulted in the dismissal of Dean Saunders, who was sacked on Tuesday morning after just four months since he left Doncaster Rovers for the job.
A club statement read: “We have now begun a recruitment process, which, in conjunction with the board, will be managed by head of football development & recruitment Kevin Thelwell. The club will now take as long as is necessary to make this crucial appointment and there will be no publicly communicated timescales.”
This has been a hugely problematic time in the recent history of Wolves, who sacked Mick McCarthy after five-and-a-half years last February when they were sliding out of the Premier League. Terry Connor was appointed as his replacement for the remainder of the campaign, but he was unable to save them and they were relegated with three games left to play.
Stale Solbakken was then named as the permanent manager last summer, but after winning just five of 20 matches, he was shown the exit door in January. The decision to axe Saunders means they are now looking for their fifth boss in just 15 months, and it appears as though the early frontrunner for the position is their former midfielder Ferguson.
The son of Manchester United manager Sir Alex, the 41-year-old spent five years at Wolves from 1994 to 1999, making 117 appearances in the second-tier. Aside from a 12-month spell at Preston North End, Ferguson has been in charge of Peterborough United since 2007, during which time he has led them to three promotions.
This season, though, they have suffered relegation from the Championship, but with a different expectation, their demotion is hardly comparable to that of Wolves. Speaking after the 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace which condemned them to League One football next season, Ferguson admitted he was unsure if he would continue to London Road.
“I can’t go on about next season. It’s not the right time,” he told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. “I’ll talk about that when it’s right. I’m devastated for the club. I’ve never worked for a better group of players. It will have an effect on the club as a whole, financially it’s a huge difference. As a group we won’t get to do what I felt we could do.”
Other contenders for the job include Kenny Jackett, who on Tuesday left his role as Millwall manager after nearly six years in charge. But speaking to talkSPORT, Lions chief executive Andy Ambler said: “Kenny has assured us he doesn’t have another job lined up and I believe him. At the end of the day, we will wish him the best, but I’d like to think the Wolves situation is purely coincidence and I think that is the case.”