Football: That was the weekend that was: Parkes remains Rovers' reluctant stand-in hero

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AFTER BLACKBURN'S goalless draw at Port Vale, Tony Parkes is the latest manager to find himself under pressure. Unlike, say, his Aston Villa counterpart, John Gregory, however, Parkes is facing growing demands that he keep his job.

The point won in the Potteries stretched Rovers' unbeaten run under the caretaker manager to six matches and both supporters and players say it is time he was given the job permanently. The midfielder Lee Carsley has joined striker Ashley Ward in pushing for the 50-year-old coach to become Brian Kidd's successor and the Vale manager, Brian Horton, has added his vote.

"Tony has taken over and he's done a great job," Carsley said. "He's made himself clear and he's got the team playing." Horton is surprised he has not been given the job already. "If he asked my advice, I would say: 'Take it'," Horton said.

The only dissenting voice appears to be that of Parkes himself. "My mind is made up," he insisted. "I'd rather put myself through these games now and then but not permanently."

But his record in five stints at the helm is outstanding. Since owner Jack Walker took control, Parkes has taken over from Don Mackay, Ray Harford, Roy Hodgson and now Kidd, picking teams for 44 league games of which he has won 17 and lost only 10. He has shown a ruthless streak, sweeping out high-profile players such as Callum Davidson, Jason Wilcox, Nathan Blake, Jeff Kenna and Matt Jansen. Yet he will not be budged over taking on the job for keeps. "My job is simply to accumulate as many points as possible before the new manager comes in to get him off to a decent start," he said.

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