Clemente in Rovers link
FORMER Spain boss Javier Clemente is the latest to have expressed an interest in the Ewood Park hot seat – with Rovers set to draw up a shortlist of potential managers on Thursday.
Global advisor Shebby Singh has called for patience from Rovers supporters as the search for Steve Kean’s successor steps up a gear this week, with Eric Black staying in temporary charge as the process continues.
A host of big names are understood to have already registered an interest, including the likes of former Real Madrid boss Bernd Schuster and ex-Manchester United ace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, although Singh declined to comment on individual names yesterday.
The Lancashire Telegraph understands Clemente has joined the growing list of potential replacements, along with former Sunderland boss Peter Reid, although reports claiming there has been contact with Roy Keane are wide of the mark.
Former Rovers striker Alan Shearer also hinted he would be interested in the role over the weekend but, with no contact made, the Telegraph understands his Ewood return is highly unlikely.
Singh said: “I had a chat with Eric on Monday and we know there is pressure on all of us but it is important we continue working regularly, with Eric and his coaches looking after day-to-day affairs.
“We are in a hurry to make the right decision but we will not rush it. We could make a decision in a week, it could take three weeks, I will not let circumstances dictate.
“I am going to have a meeting with my colleagues on Thursday where we will look at all the names in the hat and draw up a shortlist from there. It could be a shortlist of one, it could be a shortlist of three or four.
“In the meantime I would call for some understanding from the fans. Eric has to be given support, the team have to continue their preparations.
“If we had a game on Saturday, the whole scenario changes, but we now have two weeks before the next game. It has been a very difficult week for Eric, with three games in seven days, and there is a lot of pressure on him.
“He will be taking day-to-day charge while we are firming up what we need to do and we know we are in safe hands.”
Clemente, 62, has spent most of his club career at Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol, winning two league titles and the Copa Del Rey while with the former in the early to mid 1980s.
He was Spain’s manager between 1992 to 1998, while he also managed Serbia in 2006-07 and Cameroon two years ago.
Clemente, who has also enjoyed management spells at a host of other Spanish clubs, is out of work having finished a short-term spell at Sporting Gijon in May.
Rovers’ owners are believed to still be open-minded about their next managerial appointment but are understood to be looking for someone who shares their ‘passing football’ philosophy.