Port Vale owner Carol Shanahan has confirmed they are currently interviewing for their vacant managerial position.
The Valiants have been without a manager since sacking Andy Crosby on Monday following the 3-0 defeat to Fleetwood Town last weekend. Will Ryder took temporary charge during the 1-0 midweek defeat against Leyton Orient.
The 50-year-old had overseen a promotion for the club in 2022 as he stood in as interim for then manager Darrell Clarke following a bereavement, Vale winning 3-0 at Wembley against Mansfield Town. He was in charge at Vale Park permanently since May 2023.
Crosby had lost three of his final four games before being dismissed and in those four matches had accumulated just one solitary point. His final win came against Blackpool at the end of December and he leaves with the club occupying the final relegation spot in 21st position, one point behind Reading.
In an open letter posted on the official club website, Shanahan provided the following update: “We are interviewing potential new managers at the moment and they are looking to see if this is the sort of club that they want to join. When the new manager arrives he will need the backing of the supporters, the board and the team to give him the best chance of being a success.”
The favourites for the vacancy are ex-Lincoln City manager Mark Kennedy, Gareth Ainsworth formerly of Queens Park Rangers and current first team coach David Dunn.
Vale were dealt a blow during the January transfer window as Ollie Arblaster and Alfie Devine were both recalled from their loan spells by Sheffield United and Tottenham Hotspur respectively. However, the temporary acquisitions of Liverpool’s Rhys Williams and Manchester United’s Dan Gore were eye-openers.
Port Vale’s next game is at home on Saturday against Stevenage, who were beaten by fellow relegation candidates Reading earlier this week.
Kennedy didn’t do badly at Lincoln so he could be very good for Port Vale, the Irishman and Ainsworth both have their own merits.
Ainsworth was loyal to Wycombe Wanderers before his jump to QPR, so if Vale are seeking stability he would be the better option.
Dunn is already employed by Port Vale as a first team coach and has been with them almost two years, could they promote from within as they did with Crosby?