Alan Curbishley and Phil Brown in frame for Bolton job following Owen Coyle's departure

Experienced duo could pair up to rescue Wanderers following Coyle's sacking

Alan Curbishley and Phil Brown have emerged as a surprise partnership ready to apply for the managerial vacancy at Bolton Wanderers.

The Lancashire club sacked Owen Coyle yesterday after two-and-a-half years at the Reebok Stadium with his side lingering above the relegation zone in the Championship.

Coyle managed just three wins from the opening 10 games of the season with Wanderers now only three points clear of the bottom three.

More poignantly, the club has only won 14 of its last 54 league matches, a main contributory factor in dropping out of the Premier League last season following an 11-year stay.

Curbishley is ready to get back into management after four years out and could do so alongside former Bolton favourite Brown, who spent five years as a player at the club and worked as assistant under Sam Allardyce and Colin Todd.

Formerly of West Ham United, Curbishley spurned an approach from Wolverhampton Wanderers following Mick McCarthy's sacking at Molineux in February.

Despite a dismal run of results, the Bolton job still provides the opportunity for any manager to enhance their reputation by aiming for promotion with a talented pool of players.

McCarthy is the current frontrunner with Roy Keane and Billy Davies not too far behind. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who won the Norweigan League with Molde last season, is another contender.

Keane turned down an approach from Turkish club Kasimpasa last week with his sights set on a move back into English management following Steve Kean's departure at Blackburn. It is, however, believed that the former Sunderland manager would prefer talks with Bolton given the recent turmoil and upheaval at Ewood Park.

Another name chairman Phil Gartside may look towards is Darren Ferguson. Currently undergoing testing times at Peterborough United, Ferguson said this week that he "did not like working with" director of football Barry Fry amid speculation that he was ready to leave London Road.

Ferguson might have joined Nottingham Forest this summer and is seen as one of the best managers outside the Premier League, even though his side sit bottom of the Championship.

The verdict on Coyle provides a damning assessment of his reign. Heralded as the next Scottish manager to make a major impact in England while at Burnley, Coyle chose to leave the club for Bolton in acrimonious circumstances in January 2010.

Former Burnley chairman Barry Kilby labelled Coyle's choice as a "sidewards move" at the time, and so it proved. A cursory glance at the league table will make pleasing reading for Clarets supporters who have never forgiven him for leaving the club with little chance of retaining their Premier League status.

Gartside said: "Owen poured his heart and soul into the job, both on and off the pitch, and he led our club with great dignity during some very challenging times.

"It is the right time for a change. We set a target at the beginning of the season and want to get back on track."

Coyle added: "I have always been driven to act in the best interests of the club and care passionately about it. We have worked very hard for long hours to put a plan in place at the football club for years to come.

"Whoever comes in is going to be a very lucky person to come into a wonderful football club, which has a structure in place that will benefit the club for many years to come."

Even though the club has incurred debts of around £110m, largely owed to the owner Eddie Davies, Gartside will favour luring a big name to the club rather than searching the lower divisions. One bright prospect, Karl Robinson, is likely to be over-looked, even though his MK Dons team are fifth in League One and play an attractive brand of football.

Sammy Lee, whose ill-fated time in charge in 2007 lasted only 11 matches, has been appointed caretaker manager alongside academy coach Jimmy Phillips. However, Bolton are hoping to have a new manager in place by the time they face Bristol City at home on 20 October.

Coyle toil: His career in the dugout

Falkirk (Jan – May 2003)

Won the First Division in 2003 as player-manager but problems with a ground-share stopped promotion to the SPL.

St Johnstone (Apr 2005 – Nov 2007)

Beat Rangers at Ibrox in the League Cup but pipped by Gretna to promotion to the SPL.

Burnley (Nov 2007 – Jan 2010)

Won promotion to the Premier League in 2009 by beating Sheffield United 1-0 in the play-off final. Leaves with Burnley 14th in the table.

Bolton (Jan 2010 – Oct 2012)

Keeps Bolton up while Burnley go down and reaches FA Cup semi-final in 2011 but relegated last season.

Hot to Trott: Next manager odds

Mick McCarthy 5-4

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer 6-1

Roy Keane 14-1

Billy Davies 16-1

Alan Curbishley 18-1

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
Dave Mackay lifts the FA Cup in 1967 having skippered Spurs to victory
football
Life and Style
Marie had fake ID, in the name of Johanna Koch, after she evaded capture by the Nazis in wartime Berlin
historyOne woman's secret life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
News
Jihadi John
newsMonikers like 'Jihadi John' make the grim sound glamorous
Arts and Entertainment
As depicted in Disney's Robin Hood, King John was cowardly, cruel, avaricious and incompetent
film
Life and Style
Travis Kalanick, the co-founder of Uber, is now worth $5.3bn
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn