Exeter City ‘keen to speak’ to ex-Bristol City manager in latest development

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Dean Holden has emerged as the new favourite for the vacancy at St James Park

Exeter City are reportedly keen to speak to former Bristol City head coach Dean Holden about filling their managerial vacancy at St James Park.

The Grecians are on the search for a new first-team manager after Matt Taylor departed for Rotherham United. Taylor had been in charge of Exeter from 2018 but was headhunted by the Millers to fill the gap left by Paul Warne who left for Derby County.

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Under-18’s manager Kevin Nicholson is to oversee their next match against Oxford United, having already managed three matches.  Earlier this week it was reported by DevonLive that Exeter had started the process of interviewing potential candidates for the role.

In the latest development for the League One vacancy, talkSPORT journalist Alex Crook said on Twitter that Exeter want to speak to the former Bristol City head coach. Holden is out-of-work after leaving Stoke City in September.

He tweeted: “Told #ECFC are keen to speak to Dean Holden about their vacant managerial post. David Artell also in the frame.”

The 43-year-old was in caretaker charge of Stoke after Michael O’Neill’s sacking but when Alex Neil was appointed, he departed. Holden has managed Oldham Athletic and Bristol City in an eight-year coaching career.

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He had worked as an assistant to Lee Johnson before succeeding him in the summer of 2020 but his reign was short lived. Appointed on a 12-month rolling contract, he was sacked in February 2020 with City placed 13th in the Championship, a position that Nigel Pearson has yet to achieve in his tenure.

Holden faces competition from current caretaker manager Nicholson, who has spoken about wanting to take the job on a full-time basis. He said to BBC Sport on Thursday: “I’ve enjoyed everything I’ve done, yes I would be interested and I would be keen to continue doing it longer term.

"Yes, there is definitely an interest, I’d love the opportunity to go further with the group, but that’s it, done."

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