News and Views
Who could replace Paul Clement?
01 November 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Reading's manager looks to be nearing the exit door, but who can take the reins at The Royals?
The fate of Reading boss Paul Clement looks to be sealed following a ninth league defeat of the season, after a 2-0 loss at Swansea City last weekend left The Royals in the relegation zone.
Reading have won just three of their fifteen Championship games this season and although Clement remains in a job ahead of this weekend's fixture with Bristol City at the Madejski, the 46-year-old's time at the club looks to be numbered. Clement is currently the favourite across betting apps sites to be the next Championship manager to leave his position.
It would take a monumental turn in fortunes for Clement to survive into the Christmas period, with his side registering just five wins in the league since he took charge in March, against five draws and 13 defeats. Speculation over Clement's future provided the backdrop to defeat at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday, with reports suggesting Steve Bruce is being eyed as a potential replacement.
Bruce was sacked by fellow strugglers Aston Villa in early October and is currently on holiday with family in Barbados, while the 57-year-old has not enjoyed an extended break from the pressures of football management since the first-half of 2012 before joining Hull City.
Whilst Bruce is currently the hotly-tipped favourite to take over from Clement therefore, a lot can change in football in a short space of time and should he decided not to jump back in yet, the Reading board will need to have earmarked alternative options. There are however other candidates that Reading could approach to fill the role.
Mark Warburton was heavily linked with the Reading job in March before the board instead opted for Clement, but remains out of work since being sacked by Nottingham Forest last New Year's Eve. The 56-year-old former Rangers boss has had plenty of time to plot his next move since and could be refreshed and ready for another stint on the touchline.
Meanwhile, the experienced Nigel Pearson is another consideration, having previously managed Southampton, Hull City, Derby County and Leicester City, who he twice won promotion with (from League One and the Championship). Pearson is currently the manager of Belgian First Division B side OH Leuven, whom he guided to a second-place finish last season, but was in line for the Middlesbrough job before they appointed Gary Monk last year and may relish the chance to return to England. With Pearson's experience, he could be a shrewd appointment as Reading look to stabilise and beat the drop.
Whoever takes over from Clement, or even if he somehow manages to hold on to the manager's job, Reading need to start climbing the table fast. They are currently 11/10 with SkyBet to be relegated from the Championship this season, making them fourth favourites to go down at present, highlighting how far they have fallen since Jaap Stam guided them to the play-offs two seasons ago.
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