BURNLEY are yet to finalise their choice of manager to take over from Eddie Howe.
And caretaker boss Terry Pashley will again be at the helm tomorrow as he looks for a third successive win at Cardiff City.
The two names believed to be leading the race are thought to be former Watford chief Sean Dyche and Falkirk’s Steven Pressley, while St Johnstone’s Steve Lomas is thought to be third choice.
Blackpool’s Ian Holloway was a latecomer to the search, and I understand the club have pursued the possibility of landing the former QPR and Leicester boss – though they face competition from rivals Blackburn Rovers, and Crystal Palace, the latter who have lost Dougie Freedman to Bolton, and are thought to be a viable option for Holloway.
The names at the top of the list have failed to get pulses racing among Clarets fans, and there is still time for the board to look at others, time bought by Pashley’s wins over Blackpool and Bristol City.
Joint chairmen John Banaszkiewicz and Mike Garlick are thought to be undecided between Dyche and Pressley.
Mick McCarthy’s budget and staff demands ruled him out of the equation, while Portsmouth’s Michael Appleton also appears to have fallen by the wayside, having looked an ideal match for the club’s blueprint of a manager in a similar mould to Howe but “with maybe a bit more aggression”.
Leadership qualities appear to have overtaken footballing philosophy, with the club more flexible on that.
Last season Dyche piloted Watford to 11th in the Championship, their highest finish in four years, buoyed by a seven-game unbeaten run started by the 3-2 win over Burnley at Vicarage Road.
He was then replaced by new Italian owners, who appointed Gianfranco Zola.
But Dyche helped keep the conveyor belt of talent at Watford moving in his time at the club – with more than 50 academy graduates now going on to play for the first team.
Likewise, Pressley also has a focus on youth at Falkirk.
He signed a three-year contract at the club at the end of last season, and Bairns general manager David White said: “There has been nothing officially received, but we are now aware of the speculation.
“In a way, we are not surprised to see Steven linked with other clubs after the work he has done at the club.
“Though the short-term results before Saturday’s win at Dumbarton were not quite what we would have hoped for, under the manager the club’s long-term strategy is very much on track.”
Lomas has also come to the board’s attention, having won six games on the spin with St Johnstone, including a 2-1 win at home to champions Celtic.
Burnley took Owen Coyle from the Saints in November 2007, and could be wondering if lightning can strike twice.
Meanwhile, Pashley is just focused on trying to become the first side to earn a point at Cardiff this season.
He said: “I will carry on until the chairmen and the board tell me otherwise, and I continue to prepare for Cardiff .
“As things stand it doesn’t really bother me that much.
“I’m enjoying what I’m doing, we’ve got two wins and we’re trying to keep that going.
“I’ve been asked to look after the team and I’ll continue to do that. We’ve got two good results and we’ll see if we can carry that on.
“I’ve had a great relationship and a great response from the boys and all the staff – they’ve made it easy for me.
“They’ve trained well and played exceptionally well.
“I’m not surprised by the quality. I’ve seen the games where we’ve conceded goals but in terms of quality of the players I’ve got more insight into the boys with working with them on a daily basis.”
But he isn’t thinking about putting his hat in the ring, merely concentrating on keeping the hotseat warm.
He said: “People keep telling me this and that has been said on Twitter and the like. It’s human nature that everyone likes to hear nice things said.
“I can’t control that – even if they shout at me the other way.
“But it’s given me a different insight, one that would stand me in good stead when I go back to work with the youth players.
“One thing it will do is, I know what it takes to become a professional footballer having been one myself, but this reinforces that even more – being able to emphasise to the kids you need to do this and that because if you don’t you’re not going to be a professional football.”
Pashley will make late checks on hamstring victims Marvin Bartley and Ross Wallace ahead of the trip to Wales, but added: “Junior Stanislas is fine though, and everybody else is fine.
“And it was great to see Danny Ings back at Bristol. He has been itching every day and reminding me he is here.”