Sacked Bruce in frame for Derby role

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The Independent Football

Steve Bruce became the latest managerial casualty yesterday as he parted company with Huddersfield Town.

Steve Bruce became the latest managerial casualty yesterday as he parted company with Huddersfield Town.

Bruce, who failed narrowly to take the club into the Nationwide First Division play-offs last season, has paid for his side's poor results so far this term, which have left the club one off the bottom of the division.

The 39-year-old former Manchester United captain left the club after talks with the chairman, Barry Rubery. In a statement issued by the club, Rubery said: "We have mutually agreed that it is in both the club's and Steve's best interests that this amicable agreement has been reached."

Lou Macari, the reserve team manager, takes over in a caretaker capacity for tonight's trip to Sheffield United - the club Bruce left to join Huddersfield in June 1999. The first team coach, John Deehan, will act as his assistant. Possible long-term replacements include the former Liverpool manager Roy Evans and Joe Kinnear, once of Wimnbledon.

Ironically, Bruce has been one of the people mentioned in connection with a move to Derby County, where the position of Jim Smith appears to be under threat. The veteran manager could be "promoted" to a new post at Pride Park after Derby's disappointing start to the season has left them in bottom place, but that is dependent on a suitable coach being appointed. Steve McClaren, now the No 2 at Manchester United, is likely to be at the top of Derby's shortlist, with Preston North End's David Moyes and Bruce also in the reckoning.

McClaren, who left Derby two seasons ago to become Sir Alex Ferguson's right-hand man, is not expected to want to return to the club at this stage, so Moyes, whose Preston side are lying fifth in the First Division after being promoted last season, is emerging as the favourite. However, Moyes has turned down offers from Sheffield Wednesday and Nottingham Forest in the past couple of years.

Bobby Gould has been replaced as Cardiff's first team manager by his assistant, Alan Cork, but he will remain at the Third Division club. Cardiff's owner, Sam Hammam, said the former Wales coach will retain the title of club manager, but Cork will take charge of all coaching and team selection matters. Under Gould, Cardiff have won only three of their 11 League matches this season.