Wolves to start interviewing for managerial replacement

Alan Curbishley is amongst the favourites to replace Mick McCarthy at Wolves
Former Charlton boss Alan Curbishley is among the favourites to succeed Mick McCarthy at Wolves

Wolves are set to step up their search for Mick McCarthy's replacement on Thursday when they begin interviewing potential managerial candidates.

After making the decision to sack McCarthy on Monday, chairman Steve Morgan returned from a family holiday on Wednesday to draw up the shortlist.

Alan Curbishley's agent has confirmed that he is to be interviewed.

Neil Warnock and Steve Bruce are also in the frame as Wolves plan to make an appointment by early next week.

Wolves, who currently sit third from bottom of the Premier League with 21 points from 25 matches, do not play again until Saturday week (25 February) when they visit Newcastle - and want the new man in place by then.

The final straw for the Molineux board was Sunday's 5-1 defeat at the hands of local rivals West Bromwich Albion, leaving Wolves with 13 matches to target the minimum six wins that they hope would secure their safety.

Morgan has already admitted that one man on his radar is former Charlton Athletic manager Alan Curbishley, who twice led the Addicks to promotion in 1998 and 2000 (as champions) but also suffered a relegation from the top flight in between.

Curbishley, 54, admitted last week that he was desperate to get back into management, three years after he left West Ham United.

"He has got a great track record and has been there and done it before," said Morgan. "He's the calibre of what we're looking for but there are a number of other candidates.

"I don't want to get drawn into a conversation about who we will be talking to, but we'd certainly be interested in someone of his calibre."

Curbishley's agent Phil Smith confirmed: "They have invited him to see them. That is what he will do and then we'll see because I believe there is Alan, Steve Bruce, Neil Warnock and whoever else in the frame."

"I'm not going to go into when it is going to happen, other than to say it's imminent."

Chief executive Jex Moxey has already indicated that the job "is not one for novices" a description which cannot be labelled at any of the trio so far mentioned, all of whom are out of work and therefore available.

Warnock, 63, became available only last month, sacked by Queens Park Rangers despite guiding the Hoops to promotion to the Premier League in his first full season in charge - the seventh time he has taken a club up.

But Warnock's previous stint in the top flight ended badly in 2007 when a Carlos Tevez winner at Old Trafford infamously relegated Sheffield United on the final day of the season.

And QPR's owners showed the same faith in him as Wolves did in McCarthy when they sacked Warnock only a month ago.

Bruce, at 51, is another with plenty of experience, having managed Birmingham City, Wigan Athletic and Sunderland in the top flight.

He too has a relegation on his track record, having gone down with Blues in 2006, but, like Curbishley at Charlton, he took them back up at the first attempt a year later.

Bruce then twice kept Wigan up two years running before earning two mid-table finishes with Sunderland. But he was sacked by the club on 30 November with the Wearsiders 16th in the table.

Blues boss Chris Hughton, 53, unfortunate to be sacked by Newcastle in December 2010 after leading them to promotion, is another who has been linked with the Molineux vacancy. But he has since ruled out himself out of the running, intent only on getting to the top flight under his own steam at St Andrew's.

"I have a very challenging job to do here," Hughton told the Birmingham Mail. "I've got a group of lads who are desperate to do well this season and I'm desperate to guide this group of players out to the end."