Sunderland Set to Confirm Ross as Town Prepare to Formalise Hurst Move
Friday, 25th May 2018 10:09
Sunderland are expected to confirm the appointment of St Mirren manager Jack Ross as their new boss today with Shrewsbury’s Paul Hurst now appearing a shoo-in to take over at Town.
Ross, 41, is understood to have agreed terms with the Black Cats during a chaotic Wednesday while away on holiday in Greece but is expected back today when it is anticipated he will put pen to paper at the Stadium of Light.
News that Ross had agreed terms with Sunderland came as a surprise to his current club St Mirren with the Wearsiders only belatedly asking for permission to speak to him, which the Buddies granted “reluctantly”.
Town were similarly caught off guard having reduced their shortlist to Ross and Hurst.
As previously reported, the 43-year-old Shrews manager has been a leading contender from virtually the start of Town’s recruitment process with Ross an initial outsider but the candidate who most impressed Blues owner Evans during interviews.
Town are expected to hold formal talks with Hurst next week after Shrewsbury’s League One play-off final against Rotherham at Wembley on Sunday.
The Blues have kept their distance during the Shrews’ play-off endeavours but it’s long been understood that they have had a strong indication that discussions are likely to progress positively whatever the outcome of Sunday's match.
Town look to be on track to make an announcement in line with Evans’s outlined timescale of late May or early June, probably late next week.
Asked to comment on links with Town early this month, Hurst said: "It's just a compliment to everyone here and the season that we've had."
Pressed on whether he could guarantee that he would stay with the Shrews next season, he added: ”I can't honestly answer that - it would be wrong for me to sit here and say that. I don't know what's going to happen between now and then.
"All I can honestly say is that I enjoy it here, I've got a good relationship with pretty much everyone at the football club and I want to try and take this club to the Championship.”
Hurst's assistant Chris Doig would be likely to follow him to Portman Road while the Blues are also currently short of a goalkeeper-coach and a fitness-coach with Malcolm Webster retiring and Andy Liddell opting to move on. Those positions at Shrewsbury are held by former Wales international Danny Coyne and Marc Lindsey.
Should an obstacle emerge in their pursuit of Hurst then the Blues would return to their longer list of potential recruits with a number of those interviewed also understood to have made an impression on Evans.
Hurst is now the evens favourite to take charge at Town with Bet Victor, while former Wales manager Chris Coleman is surprisingly second in the running at 6-1 and former Brentford, Rangers and Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton third at 10-1.
They're followed by Tim Sherwood, 12-1, Scott Parker, 14-1, and Frank Lampard, 16-1, all of whom TWTD revealed were among those interviewed by the Blues.
Photos: Action Images/Allan Picken
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