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Who is next for the Swansea City manager's job?

Paulo Sousa spent just one season at the Liberty Stadium
Paulo Sousa spent just one season at the Liberty Stadium

By David Dulin
BBC Sport Wales

A little over a year since Swansea City unveiled Paulo Sousa as their new manager, the Championship club have started the search for his replacement.

Sousa left the Liberty Stadium on Monday to take up the vacant post at rivals Leicester City, but his departure is not exactly a surprise.

While the two-times Champions League winner took the Swans to their highest position in 27 years - seventh, a point off the play-offs - and set a new club record 24 clean sheets with one of the meanest defences in the Championship, there always seemed to be an underlying current at the club.

Rumours of an unhappy camp surfaced early into his tenure which never went away and were followed later in the season by his public outbursts over the club's strict budget.

And chairman Huw Jenkins had to go on the record to deny there was a rift between the him and the manager.

Supporters were split over Sousa who had a difficult act to follow in the footsteps of fans' favourite Roberto Martinez, who departed for Premier League Wigan Athletic.

There were concerns over his signings, style of play and lack of goals - the Swans were the lowest scorers in the Championship with just 40 and they failed to score on 18 occasions.

Brighton manager Gus Poyet

Would be a popular choice if Swansea went for him and if he would leave Brighton

It was the failure to score goals that ultimately cost them a play-off place, slipping out on the penultimate game of the season after spending the previous four months in the top six.

That is all in the past now and the search for Sousa's replacement will begin in earnest with just one month to go before the new football season kicks off.

While Jenkins and the Swansea board have a little amount of time to find his successor, it is vital they do not rush into an appointment.

Brighton manager Gus Poyet, widely believed to have been pipped to the post for the Swans job last summer, will be one of the names touted for the job.

The Uruguayan was out of work at the time, but has since steered the Seagulls to safety from the League One relegation zone.

Whether he would deem it too soon to move on remains to be seen.

Another League One manager who will be linked is Exeter's Paul Tisdale who reportedly interested the Swans last season but turned down the chance to leave St James' Park.

Twelve months down the line, he could be ready to make the step up to the Championship bringing with him the attractive style of football that Swans fans became accustomed to under Martinez.

Nigel Adkins has performed miracles at Scunthorpe on a tight budget leading them twice to promotion to the Championship, where they will play again next season.

The former Bangor manager has an eye for picking up a bargain in the transfer market and then going on to sell them for massive profits.

Newport County manager Dean Holdsworth

Has transformed Newport County and will manage in the Football League one day, perhaps sooner rather than later

Another Championship manager who has consistently performed well on small budgets and plays attractive football is Doncaster's Sean O'Driscoll.

However, with Burnley reportedly refusing to meet Doncaster's compensation demands last season - believed to be in the region of £1m - he may be out of Swansea's price bracket.

Swansea like their rookie managers though and have chosen well in the past.

Ex-Wimbledon striker Dean Holdsworth has been making waves at Newport County after guiding them to the Blue Square Bet Premier.

His County side ran away with the Blue Square South title gaining a record 103 points - 28 ahead of their nearest rivals - but would he feel it is too big a step to make at this time?

Of those currently out of work, ex-Celtic boss Tony Mowbray would be a popular choice having previously guided West Brom into the Premier League while also playing attractive football.

He has been out of work since the end of last season after being sacked by Celtic, but could prove too expensive for the Swans.

Former Middlesbrough boss Gareth Southgate could be willing to come back into management and team up with the Swans new chief scout David Leadbeater, who he worked with at the Riverside.

Swansea-born Chris Coleman is almost certain to be linked since being relieved of his duties at Coventry, although he has said in the past that he could never manage his hometown club.

Former Wales international Gary Speed - on the coaching staff at Sheffield United - is another name that is sure to crop up after being linked last season, and could be one to look out for.

Whoever is chosen will not have much time to settle and that is why it is imperative Swansea's board choose carefully.

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see also
Sousa departs as Swansea manager
05 Jul 10 |  Swansea
Foxes chief denies Sousa approach
03 Jul 10 |  Swansea
Swans chief dismisses Sousa rift
05 May 10 |  Swansea
What next for Swansea City?
03 May 10 |  Swansea
Jenkins plays down Sousa outburst
13 Apr 10 |  Swansea
Sousa makes glittering entrance
23 Jun 09 |  Swansea
Sousa confirmed as new Swans boss
23 Jun 09 |  Swansea
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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