Former Bristol City manager a front-runner to take over at Exeter City

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Holden could be given a route back into management after a opening in League One

Dean Holden remains the outside favourite for the vacant Exeter City job, after Matt Taylor’s departure.

Taylor took up the Rotherham United job last week after Paul Warne was appointed Derby County manager in a managerial merry-go-round between the two divisions.

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The Grecians have since been on the hunt for a permanent successor to the St James’ Park hot seat, and are assessing their options as they hope to preserve their third tier status. Kevin Nicholson is in caretaker charge and has won two out of the three games he has overseen but lost to Ben Garner’s Charlton Athletic on Tuesday.

DevonLive reported that interviews are due to take place this week over Wednesday and Thursday. Exeter have a League One match against Oxford United on Saturday, and Nicholson is likely to oversee that match.

Nicholson is the favourite for the role but is closely fought by former Bristol City head coach Dean Holden in the running for the role. A decision is yet to be made by the clubs hierachy and this could be a route back in to management.

Holden has been out of work since Michael O’Neill was sacked at Stoke City, which meant after one game in caretaker charge, he was relieved of his duties after Alex Neil took over.

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He had emerged as a candidate for the vacant Rotherham job, but that ended up going to Taylor. The 43-year-old now could have a route back into management down in Devon, should he turn media interest into an application.

Holden managed City after succeeding Lee Johnson in 2020 after a spell at Oldham Athletic prior to his arrival in the West Country. He left City with 18 wins and 18 defeats as well as five defeats leaving him with a 43.9% win percentage before he was replaced by Nigel Pearson.

Other City candidates include Paul Hartley, who is a far-outsider for the role given his sacking at Hartlepool United. Hartley played at City for a season between 2009 and 2010 making 42 appearances.

Paul Tisdale who had a brief spell at City in the late 1990s, is also a contender having managed the club for eight years, but managing MK Dons and Bristol Rovers.

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Liam Rosenior, recently relieved of his duties at Derby County, began his playing career at Bristol City after coming through the academy is on the list, along with Jody Morris who finished his career at Ashton Gate in 2013.

  • Kevin Nicholson (2/1)
  • Dean Holden (3/1)
  • David Artell (6/1)
  • Neal Ardley (8/1)
  • Jon Hill (16/1)
  • Marc Bircham (33/1)
  • Paul Hartley (33/1)
  • Liam Rosenior (33/1)
  • Paul Tisdale (33/1)
  • Jody Morris (33/1)

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