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Ex-Premier League boss named contender for Scunthorpe manager’s job with sacking made

Ex-Premier League boss Nigel Adkins has been named a contender for the Scunthorpe manager’s job with yet another sacking made on Monday.

The Iron have sacked boss Neil Cox with the side bottom of League Two after being beaten 2-1 at Colchester on Saturday, and have won just one of their past 10 league games.

The former Aston Villa, Middlesbrough, Bolton and Watford defender Cox, 50, began his playing career at Scunthorpe.

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He succeeded Russ Wilcox as boss on the 7th of August 2020, his first job in full managerial charge, but the club only avoided relegation by three points – and they have won just twice this term.

He had previously served as Neal Ardley’s assistant at both AFC Wimbledon and Notts County.


Scunthorpe United has parted company with first team manager Neil Cox and assistant manager Mark Lillis.

We thank them both for their efforts while with the club.

Coach Tony McMahon and goalkeeping coach Paul Musselwhite will take charge of the team for the Emirates FA Cup first round game against Doncaster Rovers this weekend.


So, who are the top six favourites to take over at Scunthorpe United?


Michael Jolley is an English professional football coach who most recently managed EFL League Two side Barrow.

Jolley is a Cambridge University graduate with an MA in economics and also has a postgraduate diploma PGDip/MSc in sports coaching from the University of Stirling. Jolley holds a UEFA Pro Licence, the highest-level managerial qualification in association football in Europe.

He started coaching in 2004. He has previously held coaching positions at five professional clubs, including Crystal Palace, Nottingham Forest, Lincoln City, Crewe Alexandra and Burnley. After three years as Burnley’s U23 head coach, he was appointed manager of AFC Eskilstuna in Sweden, joining the last-placed Allsvenskan club in June 2017. He left the club after it was relegated to Superettan. In March 2018, Jolley became manager at League Two club Grimsby Town.

He lost his job at Barrow after just seven games in charge in lasting between the 23rd of December 2020 and the 21st of February 2021 with the club occupying 23rd place in League Two.

Chairman, Paul Hornby stated that the board and Jolley had a differing vision on how the team should play which ultimately lead to the decision to remove him as manager.

Jolley's Video Review: Morecambe - News - Barrow Association Football Club

5) SHAUN DERRY – 12/1

Shaun Derry is an English former professional footballer and manager who is currently professional development coach in the academy of Premier League club Crystal Palace. He previously managed Notts County and Cambridge United, and played for Crystal Palace, Leeds United and Queens Park Rangers among other clubs. Derry was known for his hard-tackling and aggressive midfield style, and was primarily a defensive midfielder but could also play at right-back.

Derry was appointed manager at Notts County in November 2013. Despite looking destined for relegation, Derry secured Notts’s League One status with six wins from the last nine games, a draw on last day of season kept County up by three points. He was sacked on 23 March 2015 with Notts County one place above the relegation positions in League One on goal difference and having won only three games in their previous 24 league matches.

Derry was appointed manager of League Two club Cambridge United on the 12th of November 2015. On the 9th of February 2018, following a poor run of form, Derry left the club by mutual consent.

In June 2018, Oxford United announced Derry’s appointment as first-team coach, under manager Karl Robinson. Derry played, and scored a penalty, during a pre-season friendly victory over Irish club Longford Town in July 2018.

In September 2019, Derry returned to Crystal Palace as professional development coach in the club’s academy system.

LeftLion - Interview: Shaun Derry


Flynn resigned on the 1st of October 2021 after nine league matches of the 2021-22 season with Newport sitting 15th in League Two. Newport’s assistant manager Wayne Hatswell was appointed as caretaker team manager.

The 40-year-old had been in charge since 2017 and had a contract that ran through until the end of the season.

Flynn, who had three spells as a player with Newport, spearheaded County’s great escape from relegation in 2017 when they were 11 points adrift with 12 games to go.

He came agonisingly close taking the club up to the third tier of English football for the first time since 1987 only to suffer controversial playoff final defeats to Tranmere Rovers in 2019 and Morecambe last season.

Flynn’s teams saw plenty of strong league performances as well as cup runs that brought much-needed income into the club.

In 2018, they knocked out then-Championship club Leeds United to earn an FA Cup tie with Tottenham Hotspur, with Harry Kane’s late equaliser denying County a famous win but leading to a lucrative replay at Wembley.

The following year the Exiles knocked out Leicester and Middlesbrough to set up a tie with Manchester City in Newport, with Pep Guardiola’s side winning 4-1.

Last season, County also earned victories against Swansea and Watford in the Carabao Cup before being knocked out on penalties by Newcastle, then they suffered a shootout defeat to Brighton in the FA Cup.

The campaign ended in controversy against Morecambe – with the Exiles denied one clear spot kick before the solitary goal came from a disputed one – and Flynn failed to get the promotion he craved for his hometown club.

Mike Flynn Press Interview on becoming Newport County AFC Manager - YouTube

3) CHRIS BEECH – 6/1

Chris Beech is an English former professional footballer and coach who was most recently the head coach of Carlisle United.

He was the caretaker manager at Rochdale for a month, following Steve Eyre’s dismissal in December 2011. Rochdale lost three and drew three of the six games in which he took charge before John Coleman was installed as the permanent manager on 24 January 2012. Beech returned to his role as youth team manager following the appointment.

After assisting Keith Hill on an informal basis following his return as Rochdale manager on 22 January 2013, Beech was confirmed as Hill’s new assistant manager on 16 May 2013.

Beech left Rochdale along with Hill in March 2019 Chris Beech was appointed Carlisle United Manager on 26 November 2019. Beech’s first season at Carlisle ended with Carlisle United in 18th place in the League 2 table, however this was after the 2019–2020 season was suspended and subsequently ended with immediate effect with the final league table being defined by a points-per-game basis. On 10 October 2021, Beech left the club following a poor run of form.

Chris Beech speaking after the Colchester game - YouTube

2) KEITH HILL – 5/1

In a 16-year-long playing career, Hill was a centre back who represented Blackburn Rovers, Plymouth Argyle, Rochdale, Cheltenham Town, Wrexham and Morecambe.

After retiring as a player, he went into coaching at Rochdale, and was twice the club’s manager until sacked in March 2019.

Following this, he endured a difficult spell as manager of hometown club Bolton Wanderers following their points deduction.

He was appointed manager of Tranmere Rovers on 21 November 2020, but was sacked after the team reached the League Two play-offs in May 2021.


Nigel Adkins is an English professional football manager and former player and physiotherapist.

Adkins played as a goalkeeper for Tranmere Rovers and Wigan Athletic. He finished his playing career and began his managerial career at Welsh club Bangor City before spells at Scunthorpe United (where he had previously been the club physiotherapist) and Southampton, where he led both clubs to promotion. His tenure with the latter was noted for taking the Saints from League One to the Premier League in successive seasons.


Scunthorpe United – 6 November 2006 until 12 September 2010 – 199 games, 83 wins, 44 draws, 72 defeats, 41.7 win %
Southampton – 12 September 2010 until 18 January 2013 – 124 games, 68 wins, 25 draws, 31 defeats, 54.8 win %
Reading – 26 March 2013 until 15 December 2014 – 80 games, 29 wins, 20 draws, 31 defeats, 36.3 win %
Sheffield United – 2 June 2015 until 12 May 2016 – 54 games, 22 wins, 14 18 40.7 win %
Hull City – 7 December 2017 until 30 June 2019 – 78 games, 26 21 draws, 31 defeats, 33.3 win %
Charlton Athletic – 18 March 2021 until 21 October 2021 – 26 games, 9 wins, 7 draws, 10 defeats, 34.6 win %
Total – 561 games, 236 wins, 131 draws, 194 defeats, 42.1 win %

Watch Nigel Adkins' post-Accrington Stanley interview | CAFC

Fans have reacted with the ex-Premier League boss named a contender for the Scunthorpe manager’s job…

@1Pedro5: Nigel Adkins please…

@RichardLadd_1: Get Ian Holloway in. He’s the man for the job

@Thomas_W_Wright: Doomed from the start. He had to go, but the measure of him as a manager will be how he gets on in his next job at a club that isn’t in freefall. Good luck to him.

@Sturdys29: As much as everyone wanted the best for the lads 3 wins in 30 odds games was never good enough. A change had to be made. Up the Iron.

@TheCloneOfAlex: Even as a Town fan, I dislike Swann. Lived through it with Fenty, your club will die if he stays.

@DeanHarrison76: Gutted for @Neil__Cox and @marklillis7 #OneOfOurOwn

@StevieWotsa: Get Ian Holloway in get the fans in and lift the club even if it’s for the short term. @Ironarmyhd

@Carl73Mariner: Poor decision

@kevhammond37: Nigel Adkins for me

@warrendavidz: Time to let @curtiswoodhous8 do his thing

@LeeMart78849740: If you want people back in the group there’s only one man who can make that happen @TheNigelAdkins

@DanieI98: Gutted… need to get @IanOllie7 in now to finish the job!!!

@FlashFox3: Good luck and all the best for the future @Neil__Cox and @marklillis7 when you’ve got a chairman at the helm selling everything the clubs got your well out of it fellas

@TomAcheson98: nigel adkins IN

@LancsIron: Genuinely sad that this didn’t work but this should’ve happened a while back. Grass ain’t always greener & it may not be but no way were we staying up with them in charge. Big decisions for Swann now as it will really show his intent. Is he serious about keeping us in @efl? #UTI

@MarkAkers_: Shame it didn’t work for Cox but the right decision if we’re to have any chance of staying up… #UTI

@ironeller: To be shortly followed by a change in the recruitment team? Equally culpable in my view with further dud signings in summer. Get rid now and allow the replacements to get ready for Jan ( if we can sign anyone of course)

@happyangler123: Real shame as everyone wanted it to work but had to go ! Now get @TheNigelAdkins in he’s the only msn to save this shit show and Swann give him the tools to do the job in jan as your as much to blame for this if not the most to blame !!!

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