Chris Hughton linked with Leeds vacancy

Chris Hughton is in the running to take over at Leeds.

Chris Hughton is in the running to take over at Leeds. - Credit: PA

Former Canaries boss Chris Hughton could find himself back in work this week.

The 55-year – sacked by Norwich with just five games remaining of last season's ill-fated Premier League campaign – is one of the front-runners to take over what is fast becoming a poisoned chalice at Leeds United.

Hughton will face competition from another Norwich City 'old boy' with Ian Culverhouse also in the running. Culverhouse, along with Gary Karsa, lost his job as assistant to Paul Lambert at Aston Villa in May.

Also in the running to replace the sacked David Hockaday are former Middlesbrough boss Tony Mowbray and ex-Portsmouth and Crystal Palace manager Paul Hart.

Hughton said: 'This is the first ­pre­-season I can remember not being involved in ­football. It was a bit weird...'

The former Republic of Ireland player has always insisted he would have maintained the Canaries Premier League status.

'I honestly thought I could have kept them up,' he said. 'Yes, we had tough matches against top sides left, but the first of the five was at Fulham and I felt we could win that.

Most Read

'Yes it was ­disappointing. But they had made their decision. Hurt? Yes, but not bitter. That doesn't get you anywhere.

'You must keep your ­confidence and your self-­belief in football, and I have not lost mine, not at all. I want to get back into the game and I am determined to do so.'

Culverhouse has a long-standing working relationship with Lambert, having been his assistant at Wycombe and then at Carrow Road, where he helped lead Norwich from the depths of League One to the Premier League thanks to successive promotion seasons.

The 49-year-old is a 12-1 shot with Sky Bet, who have Hughton at 16-1. Caretaker manager Neil Redfearn is 6-1, Gary McAllister is 5-1 and former West Brom Steve Clarke is favourite at 6-5, although it is believed the Scot has been lukewarm to Leeds' interest.

Redfearn is preparing for the trip to Birmingham City next weekend.

Redfearn told the Yorkshire Evening Post: 'I've spoken with (owner) Massimo (Cellino) and the message was pretty simple – continue with what I'm doing, continue with my work and look after everything while he decides what he wants to do.

'Birmingham will come round quickly and I'll prepare the team properly for that game. They need to be set up and organised so that one way or another we go there in the best possible shape.

'If I take that game then they'll know exactly what I expect from them. I'll be prepared for it and they will too. If someone else comes in before then, the new man has a team who are ready to go. That way it's win-win.

'I'm not involved in (the search for a new coach) and Massimo's going to take as much time as he needs. I'll take care of everything for as long as he needs me to. He knows I'm happy to help.'