Michael Duff has done well at Cheltenham since arriving as manager with progress year upon year and therefore it should come as no surprise that his name is being linked with the managerial positions that are vacant at the moment.
Barnsley have already been in contact with the 44-year-old as he is on the shortlist for the job at Oakwell but following Neil Critchley’s departure from Blackpool, he has now been linked with that job too.
Cheltenham will be keen to keep their man if they can in the hope that he could take them forward next season. However, they need to start preparing for their own campaign and the uncertainty over who will be taking them forward cannot be helpful.
With that in mind, Cheltenham have released a statement updating fans on the speculation surrounding their manager as they said: “Michael’s contract at Cheltenham Town has a further year to run and we are extremely keen to keep him as our manager. To that end, the directors have put forward an offer to extend this contract and discussions remain ongoing.
“It is common knowledge that Barnsley have requested permission to speak to Michael as part of their new manager recruitment process and we have now received an approach from a Championship club as well. Michael has been given permission to speak to both clubs but we remain hopeful that he will stay to continue his work at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium.
“The interest in Michael and his coaching staff is testament to the club’s remarkable success over the past three seasons.
“Both the club and Michael are keeping regular contact with a view to settling his future position as early as possible. We have made him aware, in the clearest way possible, of our wish for him to stay and are hopeful that will be his ultimate decision.
“In the meantime, preparations for the 2022/23 season are continuing as planned and the Board will be readying themselves for a number of different eventualities in order to try and give the team the best chance to start the new campaign as strongly as possible.”
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You’ve got to feel for the Cheltenham fans in this situation because the uncertainty surrounding their season is massive at the moment.
Furthermore, as much as they may want Duff to stay at the club, you can’t help but feel that if he is offered either job he will be taking it otherwise he probably would’ve removed his name from the hat at this point.
With the transfer window about to officially open Cheltenham, Barnsley and Blackpool will want to have managers in place to take their teams forward and ensure they don’t fall behind so hopefully a resolution will have been solved by then.
However, if Duff does leave you can’t help but feel as though Cheltenham’s task next season looks very different.