Old hero Peter Reid the favourite as Bolton consider Shearer-Speed alliance

Posted Friday, January 01, 2010 by BBC.com

Old hero Peter Reid the favourite as Bolton consider Shearer-Speed alliance
Peter Reid, the Stoke No2, has not managed in the tiop flight since 2003 but is deeply experienced.
Photograph: Action Images

Peter Reid has emerged as the leading candidate for the managerial vacancy at Bolton Wanderers. Although a formal approach has not yet been made, it is understood that there is real interest from the Reebok in the Stoke City No2, and that his current employers would not stand in his way if he is offered the job.

The board is also investigating the possibility of employing Alan Shearer and Gary Speed as manager and assistant while Darren Ferguson also remains on the radar.

Speed, currently coaching at Sheffield United, was an extremely popular senior player during his Bolton days under Sam Allardyce. The club would love to bring him back, possibly in tandem with his good friend Shearer, who is keen to accept a new managerial challenge after his brush with the role at Newcastle last season.

With Owen Coyle, a Bolton favourite as a striker, making it clear he is not prepared to leave the project he is "privileged to be building" at Burnley to make an emotional return to a club "very close to my heart" and Mark Hughes understood not to be interested in the position created by Gary Megson's sacking on Wednesday, Reid remains a viable option.

Reid last managed in the Premier League in 2003 but Tony Pulis's current assistant boasts considerable experience accrued while in charge of Manchester City, Sunderland, Leeds and, most recently, Thailand. He also owns a home in Bolton, watches the team he started his playing career with whenever possible and may be willing to take the job on an initial short-term deal until the end of the season.

One potential stumbling block is Reid's friendship with Allardyce, who experienced an acrimonious parting of the ways with Phil Gartside, Bolton's chairman, when he left the club but Pulis clearly suspects this may not be a serious impediment.

"If Peter came and said to me he wanted to be a manager again, that's no problem," said Stoke's manager yesterday. "If people think there is something better for them out there then I'll always support them. But I would be desperately disappointed if Peter doesn't speak to me and Bolton don't speak to this football club first."

Ferguson, recently sacked by Peterborough United after leading the struggling Championship side to two straight promotions, is available and would relish a chance to manage in the Premier League but hiring the Manchester United manager's son would nonetheless represent a gamble on Gartside's part.

Reports from the continent claim that Walter Zenga, the former Italy goalkeeper, is in the frame but Zenga's managerial record in Romania, Turkey, Serbia, the United Arab Emirates and Italy is distinctly mixed.


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