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Five possible candidates for the vacant Wigan Athletic job

Wigan Athletic have parted company with Owen Coyle, but who will they turn to now? A former Manchester United coach could be a possibility.

It was always going to be a tough job for Owen Coyle, having to manage The Latics in the Championship and Europa League this season. They have performed admirably in Europe and still have a chance of progressing through to the knockout stages. It is the form in the league that seems to have cost him his job.

Wigan lost three home games in all competitions in the last nine days, and fans had lost their patience with the former Burnley and Bolton Wanderers manager. Dave Whelan usually sticks with his managers, and gives them support but clearly the need for an instant return is great and it didn't seem like it would be achieved under Coyle.

So who do Wigan turn to next? It would be an attractive job for many out of work managers. A chance to carry on in the Europa League and a shot at promotion to the top flight with a very good squad. Wigan brought in some great players in the summer as well as keeping a lot of their own top players. They certainly have one of the best squads in the league.

With so many jobs available now in the Football League similar names will be linked with each job, but the Wigan one is probably the most attractive.

Ian Holloway

Holloway would be a manager wanted by fans of Wigan, Barnsley and Sheffield Wednesday right now. You can't blame them. He is an entertaining character and has a very good track record in the Championship recently. After guiding Blackpool and Crystal Palace up from the league, he may well possess the best CV to take the Wigan job, and Whelan will surely be seeking out talks with him.

Mike Phelan

The former Manchester United assistant manager has said he is ready for a shot at management. A Championship club is probably his most likely option, and Wigan would provide a great opportunity for him. Whelan is a good friend of Sir Alex Ferguson and will perhaps have a chat with him about Phelan.

Karl Robinson

The MK Dons manager is still one of the youngest managers in the Football League despite now being in his fourth season at the club now. He has twice led his side to the play-offs in League One and is seen as one of the most talented managers in the Football League. He has already had plenty of offers before apparently, but refuses to leave Milton Keynes until he guides them to promotion. It looks unlikely this year with them sitting in 12th at the moment, so could be tempted if an offer came his way.

Graeme Jones

The former Wigan Athletic player was also an assistant manager at the club. He was Roberto Martinez's number two and has since followed him to Everton. He was a leading contender to replace Brendan Rodgers at Swansea City having previously been assistant there too. He will obviously be happy at Everton currently, but Wigan is a club very close to his heart.

Paul Jewell

Perhaps surprising given that he has struggled for success since leaving Wigan. He previously guided them to two promotions in three season from 2002 to 2005 to propel them into the Premier League for the first time. He avoided relegation in the first two season before handing his notice in. He then took the Derby County job, which took him 10 months to get his first league win. He had another poor spell in charge of Ipswich Town but Whelan knows he can be a good manager, and may return to what he knows.

image: © illarterate

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