Next Wigan Athletic manager: Former Bristol City manager emerges as contender

Bristol City’s Championship rivals Wigan Athletic are on the hunt for a new first-team manager.

Wigan Athletic are on the hunt for a new manager after parting company with Leam Richardson. Richardson was sacked as Latics boss last week with Rob Kelly placed in interim charge.

Kelly oversaw Wigan’s last match, which was a 2-1 win over Blackpool. The Championship season is now on pause because of the World Cup. League action will resume on Saturday, December 10 with a trip to Millwall.

Wigan are currently 22nd, which is the final relegation spot in the Championship. They are inside the bottom three on goal difference, with West Brom conceding less goals. There are three clubs above them, including Bristol City, who are only a point ahead.

The decision to part ways with Richardson has allowed Wigan plenty of time to seek a successor. Former Barcelona and Manchester City midfielder Yaya Toure reportedly ruled himself out of the role to the BBC, though Wigan did not offer him it.

It is believed that talks will be held with ‘around a dozen’ candidates for the role as per affiliate outlet Wigan Today. Abdulrahman Al-Jasmi, Wigan’s biggest shareholder, is reportedly flying into the United Kingdom, which signals that an appointment could be announced shortly.

Duncan Ferguson, a popular figure at Everton, is the firm favourite for the role. The former Scotland striker has been in caretaker charge of the Toffees numerous times but left Goodison Park to seek his own opportunity after leaving when Frank Lampard was appointed.

The latest development however has seen former Robins boss Steve Cotterill, emerge as third favourite for the role. Cotterill, currently in charge of Shrewsbury Town, has been at the New Meadow since 2020. Shrewsbury are on a run of five without a win and are currently placed 14th in the division.

The 58-year-old has not managed in the second tier since being sacked by Birmingham City in 2018. He had originally been first-team coach under Harry Redknapp but later replaced him after the former Spurs boss was sacked. Cotterill's experience in the Championship has seen him manage the likes of Portsmouth and Nottingham Forest, as well as Burnley.

Duncan Ferguson (Evens) is favourite for the role whilst Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard is 3/1 to take on the DW Stadium role. Cotterill is third favourite at 8/1. Neil Critchley, formerly the Blackpool manager and assistant at Aston Villa, is at 12/1 along with Belgium assistant coach Shaun Maloney.

Ex-City defender Sean Dyche is a 33/1 outsider, but he most recently ruled out taking over at Luton Town. Dyche holds the same probability as Dean Holden, who has been linked with numerous vacancies but has yet to get a chance back in management. Tony Pulis is at 66/ along with former trialist Sol Bamba, Jody Morris, Gary O’Neil and Gary Johnson.