West Brom’s first season back in the Championship ended in heartbreak after they were pipped on penalties by Midlands rivals Aston Villa who progressed through to their second successive play-off final.
For West Brom, the next task is to appoint a new permanent manager. James Shan was handed the interim position in March after the surprise sacking of Darren Moore, and while he’s expected to stay on at the club in a coaching capacity, it appears likely that the Baggies will look to install a different manager on a full-time basis.
Here are four potential contenders for the post...
The now former Brighton boss could be set to make a swift return to the dugout with the Baggies after he was installed as the new bookmakers favourite for the job.
Hughton became the first ever manager to lead Brighton up to the Premier League - they were 21st in the Championship when he took over - then preserved the club’s top-flight status not once, but twice, only to be axed earlier this week.
Prior to that Hughton managed Norwich, Birmingham, and Newcastle, leading the latter to the Championship title in 2010, while the Blues finished in the play-offs under his tutorship, whereas the Canaries recorded an 11th place finish in the Premier League in his first season at the helm.
In the space of three seasons Danny Cowley has led Lincoln City from non-league up to League One, winning two titles along the way. During that time The Imps won the EFL Trophy and became the first team outside of the top-four leagues to reach the FA Cup quarter-finals in a staggering 103 years.
Cowley is enjoying a superb upward curve in management, and while Lincoln fans hope the club’s stunning journey under his leadership continues next season, the chance to manage in the Championship with West Brom could prove too difficult to turn down. He’s been cut to just 4/1 to make the switch so watch this space.
Available? Tick. Entertaining football? Tick. History of promotion? Double tick.
It didn’t quite work out for Slavisa Jokanovic in the Premier League, however the Serb is somewhat of a managerial maestro in the Championship. In three full seasons in the division he’s finished in the top-6 each time. He led Watford to automatic promotion in 2015, then repeated the feat with Fulham in 2018, after losing in the play-offs the season before, complete with a scintillating brand of football.
Next stop, West Brom?
Shortly before the season came to a close former West Brom caretaker Michael Appleton returned to the club as part of James Shan’s coaching team. It doesn’t look like Shan will be upgraded into the permanent position, however Appleton could be a ready-made option.
Appleton began his coaching career at West Brom, oversaw a game as caretaker. He ventured into senior management with Portsmouth, followed by stints at Blackpool and Blackpool, before finding his feet at Oxford with whom he led to League One, then spent a year coaching at Leicester.