Coventry test out duo after sacking Boothroyd
Tuesday 15 March 2011
The temporary management pair of Andy Thorn and Steve Harrison will get this week to prove their worth at Coventry before the chairman Ray Ranson and the rest of the club's board use the forthcoming international break to consider their options.
The chief scout Thorn and the first-team coach Harrison have been placed in charge of team affairs at the Ricoh Arena for the time being following the sacking of the manager Aidy Boothroyd and his assistant Martin Pert yesterday.
Boothroyd's departure comes on the back of Saturday's 1-0 home defeat to Hull, a result which extended Coventry's sequence to just one win in 16 Championship matches. That run has seen Coventry slip from fifth place to 19th, seven points off the relegation zone with 10 matches remaining.
The first of those comes against play-off hopefuls Burnley at Turf Moor tonight before Saturday's trip to bottom side Preston leads the club into a two-week period without a fixture.
"Andy Thorn and Steve Harrison are in charge and we'll see what this brings," said Ranson, who revealed that Thorn would pick the team and Harrison assist him in the coaching. "After Saturday there's an international break so we've got a couple of weeks to take stock and see where we are. But it doesn't take a rocket scientist to work out that if we won the next two games then the boys would be in charge until the end of the season.
"We're looking for those three or four wins that we need between now and the end of the season to guarantee this club will be in the Championship next year. It's well documented that we're looking for new investment into the football club and we're speaking to a number of interested parties, so it's imperative this club is in the Championship to attract that investment."
Boothroyd departs the Midlands club less than 10 months into a three-year contract following the dismissal of Chris Coleman last May. His sacking has been greeted with a mixed, albeit mostly negative, response from supporters, somewhat similar to that which followed his appointment. Although, almost all fans agree the 40-year-old has not been given a fair crack of the whip following a lack of transfer funds and the club's crippling injury problems of late.
Ranson added: "It's been a very difficult decision but I think the results speak for themselves, one win in 16, and having watched the last two or three games – Bristol City and Hull at home – there doesn't seem to be any sense that we are going to turn it around. So I would hardly call it a knee-jerk reaction. We speak as a board on a regular basis and the decision was made over the weekend. Aidy was obviously disappointed but he's a big boy and he's a young man with a bright future ahead of him and I'm sure he'll bounce back from this. I wish him the best of luck. It doesn't give me any pleasure to tell a manager after nine months his services are no longer required but it was a board decision and one I felt needed to happen."
Coventry are now on the lookout for their 10th manager in 10 years. Thorn and Harrison are the bookies' early favourites for the position full-time, with the likes of Sam Allardyce, Chris Hughton and locally based former West Bromwich Albion manager Roberto Di Matteo also in the frame.
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