Mike Jackson: Shrewsbury Town caretaker boss handed extension

Shrewsbury Town caretaker boss Michael Jackson

Shrewsbury Town caretaker manager Mike Jackson has been handed an extension for four more matches.

Jackson, 40, took charge for the first time on Saturday, his side's luckless 3-1 League One defeat at Swindon - which was their fourth straight loss.

But, after Tuesday's late postponement at Colchester, Town chairman Roland Wycherley has granted him further time to make his case for the job.

"I'm up for it. I fancy the job more than ever," Jackson told BBC Sport.

"Sometimes you're put in the position when you think, 'Can I do it? Am I ready?'," he told BBC Radio Shropshire. "The answer is yes. I want to be part of it."

Initially appointed for three games following last week's resignation of Graham Turner, Jackson now knows that he is clearly in the frame.

This Saturday's game against League One leaders Brentford was due to be the final one of his caretaker charge, but he has now been handed extended control of the team for the games at Sheffield United, at home to Port Vale and against Notts County at Meadow Lane.

Town's vacancy has attracted a lot of interest, the list of candidates including former Wolves boss Dean Saunders and the experienced Sean O'Driscoll.

Contact has also been made with Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler, as well as ex-West Bromwich Albion and Bolton Wanderers manager Gary Megson, whose playing career ended with Shrewsbury in 1996.

Reluctant to stray too far from his South Yorkshire home as he awaits the right offer to get back into management following his departure from Sheffield Wednesday in March 2012, Megson would only have been tempted by a job until the end of the season.

Former Wolves defender Mark Venus, who was also assistant manager to Tony Mowbray at Albion, is also a contender following his departure from Middlesbrough in November, where he was in caretaker charge for a month.

Venus, 46, who spent almost nine years as number two to Mowbray at Hibernian, Albion, Celtic and Boro, feels he is ready to step up to the main job.

For now, Jackson is at the helm and, following Town's midweek postponement, is considering whether to persist with the 4-1-4-1 formation he utilised against Swindon in this Saturday's home game against leaders Brentford.

"Swindon on Saturday was disappointing in respect of the goals we gave away at the end," he said. "But, in terms of performance, everyone can see what a big improvement there was.

"Managers and players come and go, but it's fans who matter the most. It's their club. They're the ones who pay their money, who come down and want to be entertained and see us win.

"I'm sorry we couldn't do that at Swindon, but I hope they have seen what the lads have done in terms of effort, determination and desire.

"The supporters have probably questioned that in the last few months, but I hope they have seen something to rally them around."

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