Simpson and Beardsley among the favourite to take over at Carlisle United

Carlisle United will keep an open mind about the identity of their next manager – and have not ruled out appointing someone with no previous experience of a top job

Peter Beardsley
Peter Beardsley

Carlisle United will keep an open mind about the identity of their next manager – and have not ruled out appointing someone with no previous experience of a top job.

Former boss Paul Simpson was among the early favourites for the post, which has also seen Peter Beardsley linked with the job – as well as former Celtic number two Alan Thompson. Ex-Wolves boss Dean Saunders is also thought to be interested.

The club had their first expression of interest within ten minutes of announcing Greg Abbott’s departure and managing director John Nixon believes they will have upwards of 40 serious candidates to look at by the end of today.

With the bottom line cited as one of the reasons why Abbott left, would the club look at appointing someone with ‘wow’ factor? Or would their lack of experience put off the Carlisle board?

“Greg was young and had never managed before. We did not shirk that and we wouldn’t shirk it again,” Nixon said.

“You should never be fearful of trying out new talent. We’ve got to look at the list, what they say and what they can do.

“You need to look at the experience.

“You have just got to wait and see where they are. The key criteria is having an all-rounder who understands what the Carlisle job is all about.”

Current caretaker boss Graham Kavanagh is another candidate, with Nixon paving the way for his appointment by rejecting the idea that a “clean sweep” was necessary.

“When you talk about a clean sweep you almost talk about cutting out a cancer and getting rid of the bad. I don’t think any of us on the board saw it like that. Greg wasn’t bad, Graham isn’t part of the bad. I would not take that line,” he said. The club’s chairman said that Kavanagh would be given a chance.

“Kav was an international footballer. He’s been at Cardiff, Stoke, Sunderland – he will have picked up stuff and he might want to express those things. You never know how it will go,” said Andrew Jenkins.

“We picked up Alan Ashman from a poultry farm and he led us to Division One so you never know. It’s a funny game, football.”

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