Hull working through manager wish-list

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The Independent Football

Hull chairman Adam Pearson claims to have read some "pretty reasonable" speculation over the identity of the club's next manager but insists there are more candidates.

Former Crystal Palace, Charlton and QPR boss Iain Dowie appears to have emerged as the front-runner to succeed Phil Brown, who was sacked by the Barclays Premier League strugglers yesterday.

Pearson is hoping to have a new man in charge before Saturday's trip to relegation rivals Portsmouth and he says the search is moving forward quickly.

Pearson told the club's website, "We've got a pretty tight list and we're working through it.

"We're working through this exercise as quickly as we can, but obviously we want to explore every possibility.

"I think all the names mentioned are pretty reasonable. There are a few who the press haven't picked up on yet that we're talking to and it's always nice to have a couple of secret ones tucked away.

"I think we'll be able to bring that to the fore over the next couple of days."

Former Southampton and Northern Ireland striker Dowie, 45, first made a name in management at Oldham before moving on to Palace.

An ill-fated stint at Charlton followed before further spells with Coventry and QPR.

He was involved in a similar fire-fighting job last year as he joined Alan Shearer's coaching staff at Newcastle but was unable to help save the club from relegation.

Caretaker boss Brian Horton, himself a former Tigers manager, former Bolton chief Gary Megson and ex-England man Terry Venables have also been named as candidates along with Mark Hughes and Paul Jewell.

Brown was relieved of his duties after a run of four successive defeats left the Tigers in 19th in the table, three points adrift of safety, with just nine games remaining.

The 50-year-old was the most successful manager in the club's history after leading them to the top flight for the first time in 2008 and keeping them there last year.

But with Pearson having often warned of the dire financial implications of relegation, he has reiterated his belief that the timing of the axing was right.

He said: "We feel that we've got a quarter of the season to go with some winnable games within that.

"It's not a fixture list that's packed full of 'top four' games, it's a fixture list with games where we would expect to get some points.

"We feel that we're best served by making the change now. That will bring a fresh face in, some new impetus and some new focus to get those 14 or 15 points that we're going to need."

Pearson has also rubbished rumours that Brown's departure had anything to do with a recent public bust-up between players Nick Barmby and Jimmy Bullard.

He said: "I read those reports with staggering incredulity.

"There's nothing in those reports at all.

"The situation is that we weren't accumulating enough points and that was purely and simply the reason."