Five candidates for the Birmingham job: A disappointing list provided by the bookies?

Five potential replacements for Lee Clark at Birmingham.

Lee Clark's reign at Birmingham City has finally ended.

The young manager seemed destined for the chop this season, with his side struggling for form throughout the early stages of the campaign, particularly underwhelming during their home games at St Andrews.

So what do Birmingham fans have to look forward to? Well, if the bookmakers' initial list of favourites to replace Clark is anything to go by, not much. Not much at all.

The early favourite for the St Andrews hotseat is Mike Phelan, listed by Oddschecker as being as low as 1/2 for the job. The 52-year-old may be a creative solution - but the fact is his only experience comes as an assistant manager, even if they did involve five years at Manchester United.

Gary Rowett is next on the list, with 6/5 the lowest price you can get for the 40-year-old. The Burton boss is certainly a promising young manager but his only experience comes with League Two side Albion. He would be better left to develop as a manager there - as the example of Clark himself shows all too well.

Chris Hughton is third-favourite and perhaps offers the best solution for the Blues. Bringing him back does not look a bad option at all early doors.

Keith Hill is next in the running but, like Phelan & Rowett, has little in the way of experience. The 45-year-old has been in management for eight years - but only at two different clubs.

Owen Coyle completes the top-five candidates and, while experience is something he does have, his record does not make for encouraging reading for Birmingham fans. After leaving Burnley for Bolton, the Scot was sacked after getting the Trotters relegated, before a further unsuccessful spell with Wigan Athletic. And he did sign David Ngog, an unforgivable crime against football, after all...

Outside candidates at this point are Aidy Boothroyd, Brian McDermott, Tony Mowbray, Billy Davies, Darren Ferguson and Paolo Di Canio. But, so far, there are no real standout names leading the way.

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