Jol explains McKinlay Blackburn decision

Martin Jol
Fulham manager Martin Jol (left) and Billy McKinlay. Photo: PA

Fulham manager Martin Jol claims first-team coach Billy McKinlay might have been able to discuss the managerial vacancy at Blackburn had it been made clear he was the Championship outfit's number-one choice.

Jol confirmed McKinlay, who is also assistant to Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill, was the subject of a widely-reported rejected enquiry from Blackburn earlier this week

Rovers appear to have moved on to other targets in the wake of the rejection, with McKinlay's status as a managerial novice prompting further unrest among their fanbase following Steve Kean's troubled reign.

And having detected some hesitation in the advances of a Blackburn recruitment party headed by global advisor Shebby Singh, Jol turned down the approach.

"They asked us a couple of days ago if they can talk to him and we said no," he said.

"If you say yes it opens the door for other clubs to talk to my one of my staff members. There are always four to six other people involved, so why should I say yes?

"If I'm 100 per cent certain they'd take him I'd probably be a bit more positive.

"I need Billy, he's a good boy and is developing into a very good coach and manager.

"If they said: 'He's our number one choice', I'd probably tell them they can talk to him.

"But there are always big lists in football and I want Billy to stay.

"If I wanted someone I'd make a nice phone call, informal. With us it was formal - 'can we speak to him?' 'No'."

Blackburn have been without a manager since Kean's resignation last month.

Caretaker boss Eric Black led his charges to a first win at the fifth time of asking courtesy of an unconvincing 1-0 victory over Sheffield Wednesday last night that moved them up to fifth in the Championship table.