McFarland had spells in charge of Derby (twice) and Bradford City before taking Bolton into the Premiership. He left Burnden Park eight months ago. At Cambridge, he succeeds Tommy Taylor, who left the Abbey Stadium to take over at Leyton Orient last week.
Reg Smart, the Cambridge chairman, revealed there were 36 applications for the job. "There were some interesting people among them, but we decided instead to approach three people we thought more suitable. We interviewed them all yesterday and they were all very impressive. I would recommend the other two, whom it wouldn't be right to name, to any club, but Roy McFarland stood out as the man for this job," he said.
The Birmingham manager, Trevor Francis, is ready to sell the former Orient and Plymouth midfielder Steve Castle, bought by Barry Fry for pounds 225,000 last year. Southend are believed to be interested.Reuse content