WBA start search for new head coach

LONDON, Feb 7, 2011 (AFP) - West Bromwich will take their time before naming a successor as coach to Roberto Di Matteo, who was sacked on Sunday although several names are already being mentioned.

Di Matteo's 18-month reign at the the Midlands side came after 13 defeats in their last 18 games spanning all competitions.

West Bromwich Albion's manager Roberto Di Matteo looks on during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion on February 5, 2011. AFP

Immediately names such as Roy Hodgson, Sam Allardyce, Chris Hughton, former Albion skipper Derek McInnes and ex-West Brom player Martin Jol were linked with a move to the Hawthorns.

But sources close to Albion insist no replacement for Di Matteo had been lined up before the decision was taken by the board to axe the 40-year-old Italian.

They have enough confidence in first-team coach Michael Appleton - now in temporary charge - to do a competent job while the search goes on.

Appleton may even be considered as a candidate - in the same way as Steve Kean has been promoted from within at Blackburn - if he proves his worth in the hotseat.

West Brom legend and club record goalscorer Tony 'Bomber' Brown believes Di Matteo should have been given more time to revive the club's fortunes.

Brown said: "I am in shock. It all happened so quick. It is all down to results.

"They've had this bad spell and the chairman has decided the manager has got to go. It's as simple as that.

"I think every Albion fan will be shocked with it happening like this.

"I think Di Matteo deserved a bit longer. We are in mid-stream. What is going to happen now, who is going to take over, who is going to lead the ship?

"It's a big job for whoever takes over. It is easy to get rid of your manager. We've had quite a lot. All it does is cause confusion again at a vital part of the season."

Other news