Bowen to stay at Rovers?

CHRIS LAKEY Bookies favourite Mark Bowen is the subject of conflicting reports over a possible move to fill the Norwich City managerial hot-seat.


Bookies favourite Mark Bowen is the subject of conflicting reports over a possible move to fill the Norwich City managerial hot-seat.

The former Canaries defender is the red-hot favourite to succeed the axed Nigel Worthington, but according to one newspaper report yesterday, he is ready to tell his current employers, Blackburn Rovers, that he is happy to stay at Ewood Park.

Bowen is number two to Rovers boss Mark Hughes - a relationship which began when Hughes was in charge of the Wales national team. The pair have a growing reputation as a successful double act - one which Bowen is, apparently, reluctant to break up.

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However, another national newspaper yesterday claimed Bowen, 42, has told City he is prepared to be their next manager.

The Daily Express says Bowen - who was also assistant to another former Canary, Steve Bruce, at Crystal Palace and Birmingham, believes it is the right time to branch out on his own.

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Bowen, who played 399 times for the Canaries and scored the winning goal against Bayern Munich in Germany during the 1993 UEFA Cup run, has also been linked with the vacancy at West Bromwich Albion, who sacked Bryan Robson last month.

However, Hughes, has already played down those reports.

"I've spoken to him about it, but it's pure speculation. I've spoken to him about the situation and it won't be going any further," said Hughes.

However, West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace's plan to introduce a continental style of management, with a Sporting and Technical Director, might not sit well with prospective candidates. Peace says he wants a replacement for Bryan Robson in place within 10 days - and claims he has already received positive feedback from potential candidates about the prospect of working alongside such a figure, who is likely be brought in from overseas.

Bowen is unlikely to be far from the bookies' minds as far as Norwich are concerned, with Alan Curbishley, ex-Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell and caretaker Martin Hunter also in the frame and the usual suspects forming a disorderly queue behind them.

However, if you fancy an outsider's bet, betdirect were yesterday offering 250-1 on Mark Robins taking the reins - the same odds as you could get on Delia Smith.

One man to have ruled himself out of a move to Norfolk is Southend manager Steve Tilson.

While flattered to be linked with some of the top jobs in the Championship, including Leeds and West Brom, Tilson is adamant he will be remaining at Roots Hall.

"I had interest earlier in the season and obviously it's nice to be linked with these jobs," said Tilson.

"But I'm here and hopefully we can stay up this year, which would be a great achievement for this football club."

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