The search is on: Reds hunt Robins’ successor

Departed: Mark Robins
Departed: Mark Robins

BARNSLEY are currently working their way through around 20 applications for their vacant managerial post following the surprise resignation of Mark Robins on Sunday evening.

And owner Patrick Cryne is keen to act as quickly as possible in appointing ‘an experienced manager’ as Robins’ successor.

Cryne said: “I’m hoping we can make an early decision, hopefully in the next fortnight or so.

“It’s going to take a few days to sort everything but we’ve had quite a few applications already and we’ll be looking at all of those.

“We don’t want to reveal who they are but we want someone who’s had success in the past.

“We want an experienced manager who feels able to continue developing the academy.”

One man heavily linked to the post is former Reds boss Danny Wilson, who is still listed as odds on favourite with some bookmakers.

But the 51-year-old is reportedly interested in pursuing other opportunities rather than a return to Oakwell.

Exeter City boss Paul Tisdale is also a short price with bookmakers.

Appointing Tisdale would somewhat mirror the choice of Robins from Rotherham in 2009 after the 38-year-old’s success in the lower leagues with the Grecians.

Rochdale boss Keith Hill would represent a similar choice to Tisdale.

Hill guided Dale to their first promotion in 36 years before narrowly missing out on the League One play offs.

It is believed that of the applicants, none have managed a Premier League club.

This would appear to rule out others with short odds with bookmakers such as Roberto Di Matteo and Chris Hughton.

News broke last Thursday that Robins’ time at Barnsley was drawing to a close.

He attended a meeting with the Reds board for a discussion on the future direction of the club.

Robins was told the board believed there should be a reduction in the use of high cost loan players; players with development value should be targeted; scouting and recruitment approaches should be reviewed; the club should invest further in academy and scholar coaching for the best prospects; the cost and organisation structure of the club should be reviewed with a view of freeing resources to fund these plans; and most Championship clubs are following these approaches already.

Robins told the board he needed time to consider if he could work under the new approaches.

The board believed Robins was most likely to resign so chose to invoke a clause in his contract which fixed the amount of compensation he would be due should he make that decision.

Robins indeed chose to resign on Sunday evening.

In a statement issued via the League Managers’ Association he said: “I am disappointed that I will no longer have the opportunity to continue the club’s progress next season.

“Since taking charge of the club, I am proud to have guided Barnsley from the foot of the Championship to safety last season, and improve on the league position as well as points total this campaign, all on a limited budget.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here and I would like to offer my sincere thanks to all the players, my staff who worked so hard to try and bring success on the field and especially the supporters.

“I wish them and the club every success for the future.”

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