Football

Gartside seeks new manager

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Bolton chairman Phil Gartside will begin the task of identifying a new manager on Thursday with former Italy goalkeeper Walter Zenga emerging as a surprise candidate.

While Chris Evans and Steve Wigley will stand in for the sacked Gary Megson ahead of Saturday's FA Cup tie with Lincoln at the Reebok Stadium, Gartside knows he needs to act fast.

With Bolton consigned to the relegation zone and a trip to Sunderland sandwiched between two meetings with Arsenal after the Lincoln encounter, Gartside cannot afford to hang around.

A succession of candidates have already been mentioned, including former Wigan manager Paul Jewell and Peter Reid, currently assistant manager at Stoke but a hero amongst the Trotters supporters from his playing days.

Indeed, Jewell was at the Reebok Stadium on Tuesday as a guest of Megson to watch Bolton throw away a two-goal lead against Hull and now finds himself in the uncomfortable position of being nominated as a potential successor to his friend.

"I find it embarrassing as I was at the Hull game with my son as a guest of Gary. There was no ulterior motive," he told the Daily Mail.

"I just thought it would be an interesting game to watch. I am not one of those managers who sits in the stands to be seen or to put any kind of pressure on other managers."

Mark Hughes does appear to be the fans' favourite given another former Bolton player, Owen Coyle, is not interested. However, with Italian managers currently in vogue, reports from Serie A claim that Zenga has been approached.

The 49-year-old has managed a string of clubs in Europe, including Steaua Bucharest, Red Star Belgrade, Dinamo Bucharest and current club Palermo.

He also speaks English, which would be an advantage if he was to join Fabio Capello, Carlo Ancelotti, Gianfranco Zola and Roberto Mancini in a growing band of Italians plying their trade in England.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Topics:
Arsenal
Sunderland
Stoke City
Football
Bolton Wanderers
Mark Hughes
Premier League
Wigan Athletic
Gianfranco Zola
Mark Hughes
Hull City
FA Cup
Peter Reid

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