Former record signing Beni Carbone has emerged as a candidate to be the next Sheffield Wednesday manager, after admitting: ‘I want the job’.
Carbone, who has learnt his trade in his native Italy, coaching three clubs in three years, applied for the Owls post earlier this week after the decision was taken to sack Dave Jones.
His most recent post was at Lega Pro Seconda division side Saint-Cristophe Vallee d’Aoste - and the 42-year-old has set his sights on a return to Hillsborough, 14 years after leaving as a player.
“Everyone at Hillsborough knows how much I want this job,” Carbone, who cost Wednesday a then-club record £3m from Inter Milan, said.
“To be honest, Wednesday is the only job I really want.”
Carbone’s lack of managerial experience in this country means he would represent a significant gamble for chairman Milan Mandaric, if he is appointed as the successor to Jones.
“It depends what they want; younger or older, new ideas or experience?” Carbone added.
“I am still waiting to hear something, and I hope they call me back soon - I can’t sleep with this doubt.
“But I would bring so much passion to Wednesday.
“It is home.”
Mandaric, who put Stuart Gray in temporary charge of the Owls, assisted by Lee Bullen, for Tuesday evening’s 2-1 win over against Leicester City, is expected to today begin interviews for the post, having compiled a shortlist of managers.
Former England U21 coach Stuart Pearce and Neil Warnock, an ex-manager of Sheffield United, are interested in the position, whilst Ian Holloway, who worked with Mandaric at Leicester, could also be considered following his departure from Crystal Palace.
The Owls post is thought to have attracted a great deal of interest amongst managers both in and out of work, and Mandaric has received more than 40 applications for the role.
The Wednesday chairman has not yet ruled out the possibility of approaching a manager currently in work, either - if the compensation terms are reasonable.
Gray, the former boss of Southampton and Northampton Town, may even come into consideration for the post, after an impressive Owls display against league leaders Leicester.
Whoever is appointed as Jones’ successor, though, faces a tough psychological battle to keep the Owls in the Championship, a leading sports psychologist has warned.
Professor Ian Maynard, an expert in the sports psychology field and a member of Sheffield Hallam University’s Centre for Sports and Exercise Science, believes that the decision to sack Jones could go “either way”.
“Sometimes, this approach does work,” Professor Maynard told the Telegraph.
“You saw it at Spurs, when Harry Redknapp came in and galvanised the players.
“Players suddenly start to appear to be giving 150 per cent, instead of less than one hundred per cent for the previous manager.
“But, as we’ve seen with David Weir at Sheffield United, a new manager doesn’t always result in success and the new man has a difficult psychological job on his hands.
“He’s going to be working with the same group, who have won one game all season, so it’s a slippery slope.
“It’s also difficult, because if you come in and change everything that these players have been used to, you risk losing whatever coherence you may have already.
“But, of course, if you don’t change enough, then nothing will improve.”