Steijn the clear leader as Blues fans have their say on next manager

PUBLISHED: 06:00 19 April 2018

VVV Venlo head coach Maurice Steijn is popular with Ipswich Town fans. Photo: PA Images

VVV Venlo head coach Maurice Steijn is popular with Ipswich Town fans. Photo: PA Images

VI Images/PA Images

There is a clear favourite among Ipswich Town fans when it comes to who should be the club’s next manager.

Danny Cowley, Shefki Kuqi, Maurice Steijn, Steven Gerrard, Paul Hurst and Tony Mowbray have all been linked with the Ipswich Town job.Danny Cowley, Shefki Kuqi, Maurice Steijn, Steven Gerrard, Paul Hurst and Tony Mowbray have all been linked with the Ipswich Town job.

In a poll of more than 4,000 supporters on this newspaper’s website, Dutch manager Maurice Steijn was favoured by 27% of fans as the club searches for just the 16th manager of its professional history, following the departure of Mick McCarthy.

First linked with the Ipswich job a year ago, the VVV Venlo manager recently insisted he was ready for a new adventure, discussed his admiration for the Blues and their rich Dutch heritage and admitted he would be interested in testing his abilities outside of his native Holland.

MORE: ‘Ready for a new adventure’ – Dutch boss Maurice Steijn on continued Ipswich Town links

Steijn has guided Venlo, an unfancied side based near the border with Germany and playing in a stadium holding just 8,000 supporters, into the Dutch top flight and has ensured their survival in their first season in the Eredivisie.

Cowley has defended his playing style in the wake of criticism.  Picture: STEVE WALLERCowley has defended his playing style in the wake of criticism. Picture: STEVE WALLER

He has worked on a tight budget, secured promotion with a goal difference of more than 40 and has a track records of bringing through youth and grassroots players.

Behind Steijn in the voting were Lincoln’s Danny Cowley and former Ipswich captain Tony Mowbray, now in charge of Blackburn, both polling 14%, while Liverpool legend Steve Gerrard recorded 12%.

MORE: Bookies’ favourite Cowley responds to criticism over playing style

The quartet of Steijn, Cowley, Mowbray and Gerrard recorded 67 per cent of the vote.

Steven Gerrard (right) has been linked with the vacant manager's job at Ipswich Town. Photo: PASteven Gerrard (right) has been linked with the vacant manager's job at Ipswich Town. Photo: PA

We also asked what type of manager Ipswich fans wanted to replace McCarthy, with 54% wanting a young, up and coming manager and 24% wanting a foreign boss with new ideas. A total of 9% wanted a former Ipswich player, 7% chose a high profile ex-player and just 5% wanted an ‘experienced manager’.

Mowbray ticks both the former Blues player and experienced head boxes, having captained the club under George Burley and guided West Bromwich Albion to the Championship title as a manager, while he is now on course to lead Blackburn back to the second tier at the first time of asking.

MORE: ‘Go and get Mowbray’ – Burley’s message to Ipswich Town

Cowley and brother Nicky, his assistant, were catapulted into the national consciousness last season as they took then non-league Lincoln City to the last eight of the FA Cup, dumping Ipswich out along the way. Their rise has continued this season, as they have the Imps into the thick of the League Two promotion race while also winning the Checkatrade Trophy at Wembley recently.

Mowbray's Blackburn are in the thick of the League One promotion race. Picture: PAMowbray's Blackburn are in the thick of the League One promotion race. Picture: PA

Gerrard, who won nine major trophies with Liverpool during his playing career, was linked to the Blues by a national newspaper at the weekend and is currently working within the Anfield youth system.

MORE: Stuart Watson’s Monday Verdict: Gerrard isn’t Keane – but do we need another circus in Town?

Former Ipswich striker Shefki Kuqi, who has applied for the job, received 5% of the vote alongside Shrewsbury’s Paul Hurst, while former Nottingham Forest manager Mark Warburton and Luton’s Nathan Jones both claimed 4%.

The likes of Steve McClaren, Alan Pardew and Simon Grayson did not receive any votes, while Wigan’s Paul Cook and former England midfielder Frank Lampard each took 3%.

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