Coventry quiet on Ince's chance for top job

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Coventry's managing director, Paul Fletcher, will begin interviews for the vacant managerial post at the Ricoh Arena "within eight to 10 days" and he expects the Coca-Cola Championship club to make an appointment before the end of the month.

Adrian Heath has presided over Coventry's three League matches since Micky Adams' departure on 17 January.

Adams was sacked six days before what would have been his second anniversary in the position, following a string of disappointing results which culminated with an FA Cup third-round replay defeat at home to a League One side, Bristol City.

The search to find Adams' successor is under way but Fletcher said that the process was still in its infancy.

He said: "We have gone through the 40-plus applications we received and have narrowed it down to a short list that we intend to start interviewing within eight to 10 days, with a view to making an appointment at the end of the month.

"We are where we thought we would be at this moment in time and we are in no rush to make a decision yet."

Despite Coventry losing two of the three games in Heath's time in charge, Fletcher said that the caretaker-manager was in contention for the permanent position. He said: "Obviously Adrian Heath has an opportunity and if he is to put himself high up in the pecking order to become the next permanent manager then he knows he needs to deliver on the field. It is in his hands at the moment and it is up to him to put himself in poll position. We are trying to give him all the support we can but he knows the score."

The Macclesfield manager Paul Ince is the latest man tipped to succeed Adams, following relative success in his first managerial post.

Ince, 39, who began the season as a player-coach at Swindon, has given the Silkmen a realistic chance of avoiding relegation after they had been 11 points adrift at the bottom of League Two weeks after his appointment in October.

Some leading bookmakers stopped taking bets on Ince to take over at Coventry after a flurry of bets on the former Manchester United player, but Fletcher has refused to be drawn into speculation regarding the former England midfielder, or any one else. "It would be unfair to say whether Paul Ince is in our thoughts or not, because he is employed by another club and he is doing a good job at that club," Fletcher said. "It is unfair to speculate on any particular name and I watch with interest what the media say and how they handle this.

"It is the same when any club is searching for a new manager. There will always be speculation and names being bandied about because that is the nature of the business."