Coventry favourite Gary McAllister emerged as one of the early frontrunners to retake the helm at the Ricoh Arena after Chris Coleman was sacked on Tuesday morning.

The former Scotland captain, 45, enjoyed a memorable playing spell with the Sky Blues between 1996-2000 before returning to the club as player/manager in 2002, resigning 20 months later to be with his wife while she underwent treatment for cancer.

McAllister is joined at the top of most bookmakers' lists by former Celtic and West Brom manager Tony Mowbray and current Notts County boss Steve Cotterill. Others in the frame include Phil Brown, Gareth Southgate, Alan Curbishley and Eric Black, who took over from McAllister in 2003 for a brief spell in charge and is currently assistant to Steve Bruce at Sunderland.

However despite all the inevitable early speculation, Coventry chairman Ray Ranson insists the club's board will take their time to get the decision right.

"We will not be rushed into finding a successor and the board will explore every avenue to appoint the right manager to take Coventry City Football Club forward," he said in a statement.

Coleman, formerly in charge of Fulham and Real Sociedad, took the reins at the Ricoh Arena in February 2008 with the club 20th in the Coca-Cola Championship. The Welshman kept them up by one point on the final day of that campaign before finishing 17th last term.

The Sky Blues battled their way through some sporadic form over the first half of this season before an impressive run at the turn of the year propelled them to within reach of the play-off places come mid-March.

But a dreadful run of 11 games without victory until the end of the season, culminating in Sunday's abject 4-0 home reverse by Watford, saw the midlands outfit finish a lowly 19th - just one place above where they were when Coleman penned a three-and-a-half-year deal.

There has been plenty of clamour for his head from City supporters and that defeat, their heaviest of the season, certainly added weight to their case. But the powers that be at Coventry were keen to stress their decision was not a knee-jerk reaction to Sunday's match but was made after assessing the last two years as a whole.

Ranson added: "It is true I enjoyed a very close working relationship with Chris and it's been a pleasure to work with him since his arrival in February 2008. The board would like to place on record their thanks for his efforts over two and a half years."

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