Gary Rowett tops poll – IF there’s a vacancy at Carrow Road

Former Birmingham boss Gary Rowett.

Former Birmingham boss Gary Rowett. - Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd

Gary Rowett has topped our readers' poll as the favoured replacement should Alex Neil leave his post as Norwich City boss.

More than 10,000 fans took part in our poll on whether Neil stay should or go – with 96pc saying his time was up. And that prompted the next question – who would take over the reins?

More than 5,500 readers have had their say so far – and it is Rowett who stands out as the favourite choice. Rowett is currently out of work – a big plus in these days of compensation pay-outs – having been sacked by Birmingham on December 14 with the club seventh in the Championship table.

With the seemingly never-ending movement of managers in and out of work, Rowett is likely to be a popular target for clubs with a vacancy to fill, or imminent. Swansea are currently sniffing around a handful of our 'possibles', following the departure of Bob Bradley on Tuesday.

Rowett claimed 27pc of the votes in our poll, followed by Alan Pardew, sacked by Crystal Palace three days before Christmas, with 17pc. Pardew has plenty of experience, having also managed Reading, West Ham, Charlton, Southampton and Newcastle, but may have his sights higher than Carrow Road.

Former England boss Roy Hodgson is third with 14pc – Hodgson is a friend of City majority shareholders Delia Smith and Michael Wynn Jones, but he carries the baggage of presiding over England's awful Euro 2016 defeat against Iceland, which prompted his resignation. Then there is the personal issue: more often than not, owners end up sacking managers – how would that prospect sit with Delia and Michael? In the past, and present, they have been accused of hanging on too long before making a decision.

Rangers' Mark Warburton is the leading choice of those in employment, with 13pc. Then there's Ryan Giggs (8pc), Wales boss Chris Coleman and former Leicester and Derby manager Nigel Pearson, both on five per cent.

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Voting: Gary Rowett (27pc), Alan Pardew (17), Roy Hodgson (14), Mark Warburton (13), Ryan Giggs (8), Chris Coleman and Nigel Pearson (5), Michael O'Neill (3), Paul Heckingbottom and Kenny Jackett (1) and others (4).