It was beginning to look inevitable. The day finally arrived where Bristol City manager Dean Holden was sacked after a horrid run of results.
The 2-0 loss against Reading on Tuesday evening turned out to be the final nail in the coffin for the Robins gaffer. It was the Robins sixth loss on the bounce.
City were quick to release an official statement on the club website which pointed out that that current assistants Paul Simpson and Keith Downing would take charge of affairs for the foreseeable future. However, they will inherit a side lacking confidence and sitting in a disappointing 13th place in the Championship table.
Whilst Simpson and Downing are in immediate charge, a permanent manager will remain the priority in a few months’ time.
So, who are the early candidates for the job?
Paul Simpson and Keith Downing
The Bristol City hierarchy can continue with the interim managers on a permanent basis if they can guide their team to a respectable finish by the season end.
The pair have good experience between them as Simpson has seen spells in charge at Carlisle, Preston, Shrewsbury, and Stockport as well as the England youth set-up, whereas Downing has managed clubs like Cheltenham, West Brom and the England youth set-up like Simpson.
Harris has been a combative manager throughout his career and has shown what he can do with a team when his back is up against the wall. He turned a Millwall team into an outfit to be feared by opponents and a very tough team to beat. The dynamic manager has been on the market since being sacked by Welsh side Cardiff City in late January.
Barton is as feisty as a manager can get. He continued his playing day trait even after becoming a manager. The 38-year-old is said to be a no-nonsense manager and that served him brilliantly in his first job in management with League One side Fleetwood Town. The former Manchester City player was at the Cod Army for three years and eight months and managed the team in 128 games, leading them to one promotion and the League One play-off semi-finals last season.