Shepherd to target former Bolton boss Allardyce

NEWCASTLE chairman Freddy Shepherd will turn to Sam Allardyce after accepting Glenn Roeder’s resignation.

The Magpies supremo is expected to offer the job to the former Bolton boss for the second time following Roeder’s departure yesterday.

Shepherd insisted at the weekend that he had not spoken to Allardyce either before or after he announced his decision to leave the Reebok Stadium despite fevered speculation that he was on his way to St James’ Park.

However, it is understood that his availability and his track record with Bolton will prompt Shepherd to renew his interest in the man he tried to land as Sir Bobby Robson’s successor in September 2004.

On that occasion, Allardyce rejected Newcastle’s advances and although he was touted for the job once again following Graeme Souness’ departure in February last year, Roeder’s performance as caretaker earned him the nod.

However, the 51-year-old former Magpies skipper’s reign came to an end on Sunday, although his decision was only confirmed by the club yesterday morning in a statement released through their official website.

Neither Shepherd not Roeder have yet elaborated on the development, which came 24 hours after fans protested outside St James’ Park in the wake of Saturday’s 2-0 home defeat by Blackburn which finally ended hopes of European qualification.

Allardyce, who was also a serious candidate for the Sunderland job during the summer before Roy Keane was appointed, was immediately installed as a hot favourite with bookmakers Ladbrokes suspending betting at 1-4.

Former skipper Alan Shearer is a popular candidate for the future, although he has shown little appetite to return to the fray just yet and in any case, has not yet collected his UEFA A Licence, let alone the Pro Licence.

The names of Mark Hughes, Sven-Goran Eriksson, Steve McClaren and Sevilla’s Juande Ramos among others have been thrown into the hat by the rumour machine with varying degrees of plausibility, but it is Allardyce who is considered the most likely man.

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