Lee Bullen has got off to a terrific start in his latest spell as caretaker manager of Sheffield Wednesday, but there are still other candidates available who may be better suited to the role.
With the transfer window closed it is important The Owls, if they are to look externally, bring in a manager whose best attributes are their ability on the training pitch; in improving players and getting the best out of them.
So far Bullen has done that very well, and his knowledge of the players – in terms of their ability and personality – has been a big factor in his success so far.
However, the 48-year-old is severely lacking in experience, and the Wednesday hierarchy may doubt his ability to maintain the positive start, so here are three alternatives they could look to who would do well.
The former Stoke and Birmingham manager is the bookies favourite, and for good reason. Not long ago he was being linked with Premier League jobs but his stock has fallen, somewhat unfairly, because of a disappointing stint at Stoke – despite it being a club where many managers have struggled recently, such as Paul Lambert and Nathan Jones.
Rowett overachieved at Burton and Birmingham, where he used a tight budget to the best of his ability and relied on his skill as a coach and a tactician to achieve results, which he could replicate at Wednesday.
He was sometimes criticised at Derby for his negative approach, but he got results, and boasted an impressive win percentage of 43.3%, losing just 16 of his 60 games in charge.
He is a very pragmatic manager and that suits the pragmatic squad at The Owls. Players like Sam Winnall and Steven Fletcher also suit his style of play – he likes strikers who are strong in the air, such as Lucas Akins and Billy Kee at Burton and Lukas Jutkiewicz at Birmingham – and with Barry Bannan also at his disposal, he should enjoy working with the squad.
If any manager can produce an instant bounce it is Alan Pardew, and if he was to repeat his immediate impacts at Wednesday then the club would be flying, and certainly on course to finish higher in the table than many thought possible after Steve Bruce’s departure.
At Crystal Palace he won five of his first seven games in charge, and 10 from his first 15, despite taking over a side in the relegation zone which had struggled significantly under Neil Warnock.
He finished 10th at the end of that season, and the next year took Palace to their first FA Cup final since 1990, but much like Gary Rowett is being underappreciated because of his perceived failure at West Brom.
Pardew is a great man-manager and he would create a buzz in the dressing room, lift players and give them to confidence to play their best football, which is just what the team needs right now.
He gives players freedom too and that translates into open, attacking football, which would be greatly appreciated at Hillsborough, and work well with the likes of Jacob Murphy and Kadeem Harris in the squad.
The former Sunderland boss is a bit of an outlier on this list as he has little experience of managing in the Championship, but he had a respectable playing career and achieved a great deal during his time with Wales.
Coleman is used to being restricted in management – and therefore having to do his best work on the training pitch – during his spell as Wales manager, so he would adapt well to the situation at Wednesday and working with the current set of players until the January window.
He knows what it takes to manage a squad and keep morale up, and that is invaluable over the course of a long season. He is a very personable manager, much like Bullen has been so far, and it seems that The Owls squad reacts well to that, which would make him an ideal fit.