At the helm
Reporter: MATTHEW CHAMBERS
Date online: 13 February 2013
ATHLETIC are set to keep faith with Tony Philliskirk as caretaker manager beyond this weekend, as hopes of landing prime target Iain Dowie fade.
Confirming the club has still to speak to anyone other than former boss Dowie, chairman Simon Corney indicated that Philliskirk could remain well beyond the Everton game on Saturday.
“Tony is in charge until further notice,” Corney, currently in New York, told the Chronicle.
“The only person we have had any contact with is Iain. It is not to say that if an outstanding candidate crops up he won’t be appointed, but I think Tony will be in charge for the next couple of weeks.”
It is thought Athletic can’t get close to the salary expected by former Northern Ireland striker Dowie as a result of his media work, making a return to the club he led to the play-offs in 2002-03 unlikely.
Sammy Lee now heads the betting as odds-on favourite. Interviews will start next week at the soonest, once over 120 applications have been sifted.
“At the moment, we are looking at all the different applicants,” added Corney, who returns to Oldham on Friday. “When we get a unanimous decision from all of the board, we will proceed.”
Strike duo Matt Smith and Robbie Simpson have both been given the go-ahead to join training tomorrow and will be in contention to play Everton.
Scunthorpe’s 3-1 home win over Carlisle last night pushed them five points clear of Athletic in npower League One, having played a game more.
Bury remain third-bottom — a place below Athletic in the relegation zone — after a 2-0 home loss to Sheffield United, while bottom two Hartlepool and Portsmouth drew 0-0 at Victoria Park.
ATHLETIC fans are reminded that the FA Cup fifth-round tie against Everton at Boundary Park on Saturday is all-ticket. None will be available on the day.
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