Bolton still keen on Megson

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The Independent Football

The Bolton chairman Phil Gartside will not be rushed into appointing a successor to Sammy Lee following further setbacks yesterday in his pursuit of a new manager. A week has passed since Lee left the Reebok, but a new manager is no nearer being named by Gartside, following confirmation Graeme Souness is not interested in the job.

Chris Coleman's club Real Sociedad have refused Bolton permission to speak to their man and Leicester have turned down a second Bolton approach to speak to Gary Megson.

There appears no chance of an appointment being made before Sunday's Premier League match against Aston Villa. Caretaker manager Archie Knox will be in charge for tomorrow's Uefa Cup tie with Braga – and Gartside acknowledges it is far from an ideal situation, with the Trotters currently in the relegation zone.

"We hope to be in a position to conclude the process as soon as possible, but we will take our time to make sure we make the right appointment to take us forward," Gartside said. "It is a complex job to find the ideal candidate to take the club forward – but it is a process we are working tirelessly to resolve."

Souness' decision to withdraw his candidacy, having been interviewed by Gartside last week, is a blow. But Gartside is unlikely to be dissuaded from making another attempt to speak with Megson, while Chris Coleman's name has not entirely disappeared off the radar either – despite Real Sociedad's equally forceful claim that the former Fulham manager will not be leaving Spain.

"We are well aware we are in a difficult position in the league," said Gartside. "We believe we have a talented squad, who can help us achieve our immediate objective of being a successful Premier League side. We all believe that the squad possesses the right blend of experience and skill to get us through our current situation."

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