CHRIS Morgan will be offered the chance to take charge of Sheffield United on a permanent basis if his first five matches at the helm prove a success, The Star can reveal.
Morgan, who made 281 appearances for the South Yorkshire club as a player before retiring due to injury, was installed at the helm last night when former manager Danny Wilson parted company with the League One club.
Although several experienced candidates are believed to have expressed an interest in the vacant position when Wilson’s exit was officially confirmed, this newspaper understands that Morgan is in pole position to be handed the role long-term should he impress between now and the end of the season.
The 35-year-old is known to have impressed owner Kevin McCabe with his work at under-21 level in recent months.
United enter this weekend’s crucial encounter with Swindon Town fifth in the table - six points behind second-placed AFC Bournemouth having played two games less than Eddie Howe’s side - but without a win in their previous four outings on home soil following Tuesday’s defeat by Crawley.
Frank Barlow, Wilson’s assistant, has also left his position.
“We must thank Danny and Frank for all their endeavours and hard work over the past two seasons,” McCabe said.
“We now have a mini-season for this club to achieve success and we will all back Chris in this mission.”
Wilson, who was appointed as Micky Adams’ replacement when United were relegated from the Championship two years ago, reached the play-off final last season but his side were beaten on penalties by Huddersfield Town.
Despite winning over half of his 106 matches at the helm, a disappointing sequence of results on home soil prompted United’s hierarchy to review Wilson’s position in the wake of the shock defeat by Richie Barker’s charges.
Despite their position towards the top of the rankings, United have failed to score in their previous four outings at Bramall Lane.
A meeting with fellow contenders Brentford, who beat Crewe Alexandra yesterday, is the next item on Morgan’s agenda following Saturday’s visit of Swindon before trips to Portsmouth and Gresty Road.
United are scheduled to complete their campaign against Preston North End on April 27.