DONCASTER ROVERS: John Ryan looks to Scotland

Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan.
Doncaster Rovers chairman John Ryan.

NORTH of the border based bosses Steve Lomas and Terry Butcher have emerged as early candidates to replace Dean Saunders in the Doncaster Rovers hot seat.

Rovers want to speak to Inverness Caledonian Thistle manager Butcher, according to reports in Scotland. While St Johnstone boss Steve Lomas is the surprise early bookmakers’ favourite for the Keepmoat Stadium post.

Former Rovers boss Sean O’Driscoll, Coventry’s Mark Robins, former Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington and Cheltenham boss Mark Yates are also in the betting. Rovers chief executive Gavin Baldwin revealed last night that the club had already received ten applications “of the highest quality” out of a total of “not less than 50” CVs.

Butcher is due to hold talks with neighbours Barnsley this week about their vacant managerial position.

However, reports in Scotland have suggested that Doncaster have also expressed an interest in speaking to the former England defender and are awaiting a response from Thistle. Inverness chairman Kenny Cameron, however, last night reiterated his desire to hold onto Butcher.

Ex-Manchester City midfielder Lomas, who guided St Johnstone into the qualifying rounds of this season’s Europa League, was installed as an odd-on favourite in the betting yesterday.

Sources close to Lomas have indicated that the fiery 38-year-old, who is currently serving an eight-game touchline ban, would be keen to follow ex-Saints managers Owen Coyle and Derek McInnes south of the border.

However, The Star understands that Lomas is currently on holiday overseas and is somewhat mystified by the Doncaster link.

Rovers will invite applications until next Monday and hope to interview the strongest candidates on their shortlist next week. Chairman John Ryan told The Star that high on his priorities is to appoint a manager that would create a “seamless transition” from the Saunders era.

“Doncaster Rovers are in the best shape they’ve ever been in and it’s up to us make the right appointment,” said Ryan. “We’re not rushing it. This is probably the most difficult job in football, to pick the right manager.

“We want it to be a seamless passage from Dean to the new manager.”