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Who's next for Sky Blues?

Byline: Chris Hutcheon Chief Sports Writer, Betrescue Andy Turner Sky Blues Reporter

a run of seven games without a victory has seen Coventry slip into the relegation zone and that has proved too much for Sky Blues chief executive Steve Waggott who took the difficult decision to dispense with the services of manager Steven Pressley.

Pressley's assistant Neil Mac Farlane and professional development coach Dave Hockaday were immediately placed in temporary charge and they've gone straight to the head of BetVictor's early betting to be the next City boss on a permanent basis.

MacFarlane is an 8/1 shot at BetVictor but considered the front runner is former Leeds boss Hockaday, trading at a slender 11/10 at the time of writing.

Sacked by Sunderland in 2013, Paulo Di Canio is 6/1 courtesy of Skybet to make his return to management at the Ricoh Arena and the same firm have Dave Jones next in the betting at 8s, although BetVictor price the ex-Shef-Shef field Wednesday man at 16/1. Darren Ferguson was sacked by Peterborough at the weekend, following their loss at MK Dons and he's 12/1 (BetVictor) to swiftly find alternative employment at Coventry and Skybet mark an identical 12/1 against Notts County's Shaun Derry.

Elsewhere, BetVictor rate both Lee Johnson and James Beattie at 14/1 and Mark Cooper is 16/1. Amongst the outsiders meanwhile, is former Sky Blues manager Gary McAllister (33/1) and Paul Lambert (33/1) who recently left Aston Villa.

DAVE AVE A Hockaday is the bookies' favourite to land the full-time gig at Coventry City. No poop Poirot!

The day the ill-fated former Leeds boss walked in the room the writing was on the wall for Elvis to leave the building. Conspiracy theory? Maybe.

Despite the inevitable speculation, Steven Pressley was involved in his recruitment and didn't feel threatened by it. Naive? Maybe.

Exactly 21 days later the 57-year-old coach has stepped up as joint caretak-caretaker manager with Pressley's right-hand man, Neil MacFarlane.

That's the bit that doesn't quite compute with some fans. MacFarlane and Pressley came as a pair, having played and worked together prior to moving 'down the road' to the Ricoh Arena.

They are like brothers with MacFarlane a close and trusted lieutenant.

Indeed, to coin a well used phrase over the last two years, they share the same DNA in terms of their football philosophy and way they think things should be done.

We're not privy to boardroom conversations but from a purely cold financial point of view if City sack the No.2 they have to pay him compensation. If he walks out in sympathy they don't. As a man with a young family to support it makes sense for him to carry on until such time as the new man in charge tells him his services are no longer required.

So where does that leave us? Well, it will certainly be interesting to see if Hockaday takes the lead or not in terms of team set-up and selection on Saturday, not to mention pre and postmatch press conferences.

One thing that has been evident from a couple of players is that he has brought a bit of calmness to the choppy waters, George Thomas insisting he got the Under-21s to relax and express themselves ahead of their 3-0 victory over Crewe last week - the development squad's first win since October - while Marcus Tudgay paid tribute to 'Chuck' for his arm around the shoulder approach ahead of his recall to the starting line-up.

City insist they aren't going to rush into their next appointment and instinct tells me that if Hockaday masterminds an immediate turn-around, he'll probably get the job until the end of the season.


Steven Pressley salutes the travelling fans at Bramall Lane | after his 100th and, it transpired, final game in charge of the Sky Blues. His long-term No.2 Neil McFarlane (left) and recently-arrived Dave Hockaday (right) have been put in temporary charge while the board decides who will be the seventh 'permanent' manager since Sisu bought out the club in December 2007. PICTURES: JOE BAILEY

Paolo Di Canio is quoted at 6/1.
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Feb 24, 2015
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