Ipswich Town manager: Bookies install former defender as favourite

Colchester United head coach who lost his job 14 July 2020
McGreal: Led Colchester United into the play offs during his time with the U's Credit: PA Images

Ipswich Town supporters and podcasters Richard Moss and Matt Phillips give their thoughts to ITV News Anglia's Donovan Blake on why Paul Cook was sacked as manager

John McGreal has been installed as the bookies' favourite to replace Paul Cook as the next manager of Ipswich Town.

Town sacked the 54-year-old former Wigan and Portsmouth boss yesterday after watching his side be held to a 0-0 draw against League Two side Barrow in the FA Cup.

In a statement club CEO Mark Ashton said: "At this moment, there is no one lined up to replace Paul. There will be an extensive search to find the best replacement for the Club.

 "I will communicate more to the media and our supporters on Monday."

That hasn't stopped oddsmakers placing McGreal at the top of the list as the next boss. A former defender with the Suffolk side, McGreal made more than 100 appearances for the club.

Town boss Paul Cook had said his side were "genuinely trying to get better" Credit: PA Images

Only last Thursday the Blues announced that the 49-year-old would be working with the U23s and development squads.

As a manager McGreal guided the U's to a play-off spot in 2020. If he does find his way into the hotseat, he'd become the fourth man to manage both Town and Colchester United. Paul Lambert, George Burley and Cyril Lea have all managed the clubs.

Another front runner for the job is Michael Appleton - currently boss at League One rival Lincoln City.

He has worked with Mark Ashton before during their time at Oxford United.

League One Table

Other League One names who the bookies have linked to Portman Road are Plymouth boss Ryan Lowe - his side are currently fourth in the league table - nine points clear of Town. Liam Manning, of MK Dons, who had a spell as a Youth Coach at the Blues and Sunderland's Lee Johnson are also linked. Both sides are challenging for a play-off berth.

At slightly longer odds is Frank Lampard. The former Chelsea boss had been strongly linked with the recent vacancy at rivals Norwich City.

Lampard had been linked with Premier League Norwich Credit: PA

Lampard guided Derby County to a play-off final and later took Chelsea to a Champions League spot in his time at the Premier League title-chasers, while also operating under a transfer embargo during his time in West London.

He's also worked with young players, and helped bring the likes of Mason Mount and Callum Hudson-Odoi into the first team set-up at Stamford Bridge.

Former England captain John Terry Credit: PA Wire

Lampard's former Chelsea team-mate John Terry is also considered a possibility. Terry worked alongside Dean Smith at Aston Villa and has stated his ambition to take a top job, as he told the Villa website when he announced he was leaving the Premier League side.

"My immediate plan is to spend some quality time with my family and, thereafter, hopefully take up some invitations to visit clubs and managers around Europe to develop my aim and objective of becoming a manager. "

Continuing the Chelsea connection is Ivorian striker Didier Drogba. Drogba spent some time with Phoenix Rising - the American side which is also owned by Town's US owners.

Frank Yallop made almost 300 appearances in a 14 year spell at Portman Road Credit: PA Images

Staying stateside another ex-Town defender is Frank Yallop. He's spent the last 20 years working in the US at MLS side's San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy and the Chicago Fire, he's currently coaching Monterey Bay in the USL Championship, but also has worked at Phoenix Rising.

Michael Carrick Credit: PA

Another longshot is Michael Carrick, who left Manchester United this week after a spell as caretaker boss at Old Trafford. Though it's seen as unlikely he would want to follow in the footsteps of another United legend, Roy Keane. Carrick has also said he wants a break from football before returning to football.

Rounding off the list are a number of men with Norwich City connections. Steve Bruce, a former centre half with the Canaries is available after he was given the axe by Newcastle.

Alex Neil, who took Norwich into the Premier League after winning the Championship Play-Offs and Chris Hughton are also linked with the vacancy.