Caretaker manager James Shan will remain in charge of West Bromwich Albion when they face Birmingham City next week. Back-to-back victories for the Baggies have also made Shan the new front runner to see out the season as interim manager.
West Bromwich Albion Consider James Shan
West Bromwich Albion are seriously considering keeping James Shan at the helm for the remainder of the season. Shan will lead training when the West Brom squad return on Wednesday ahead of a tasty fixture against local rivals Birmingham next Friday.
Two victories and two clean sheets for West Brom since the shock dismissal of Darren Moore has slightly eased the pressure on the managerial appointment, but Albion are still aware that they would be risking their play-off place were they to not hire help.
An experienced short-term coach is expected to be brought in alongside Shan to help boost the Baggies’ promotion push. Michael Appleton, Craig Shakespeare and Steven Reid are amongst the candidates considered, all three with a previous affiliation to the club.
The Baggies have not ruled out making a permanent appointment before the end of the season, although they know that their task will be easier in the summer. Making a decision with this season still up in the air is high-risk given that West Brom could still be promoted. Albion are reluctant to hire anyone permanently until next season’s league status is confirmed.
They do have a shortlist, though. David Wagner and Alex Neil are both targeted but neither are available yet. Former Huddersfield Town manager Wagner does not wish to return to football until the summer, whilst Neil is on the verge of the play-offs with Preston North End with the club having no intention of letting him leave.
Ex-Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic was initially in pole position for the Baggies role but interest has since cooled. Fears that Jokanovic was not a viable short-term fit has halted talks, the feeling being that his methods take time to bed in. Jokanovic was also reported to be asking for a hefty salary of £1.5million along with a promotion bonus.
West Brom hit the panic button when sacking Darren Moore without any kind of replacement lined up, essentially rolling the dice on their season. They now find themselves in limbo as the season approaches the final stretch, with just eight games remaining.
An impulsive short-sighted appointment could paper over cracks but prove disastrous further down the line were promotion to not happen. Holding off until the summer is the smart move as it gives West Bromwich Albion the opportunity to step back and formulate a strategy going forward. They must learn from the Alan Pardew debacle that led to relegation last season.