The names in the frame for Swindon's vacant hot-seat

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Fan Nick Judd assesses the potential candidates for the vacant Swindon position following Maurice Malpas' departure on Friday...

Even before Maurice Malpas was given his P45, Town fans had been discussing his replacement.

For many it was a case of ‘when’ and not ‘if’ he would go. Harsh, maybe, but two expensive cup defeats in five days appear to have left Swindon’s board agreeing.

Malpas: One defeat too many for the former Motherwell man 

With Swindon supporters acting like kids at Christmas over the prospect of someone new lifting the place, the list of potential replacements includes the sublime and the ridiculous.

Our chairman seems to know who he wants. He states proven experience as a key factor, so who could, or should, it be?

Ian Holloway

The most obvious choice. He’s from the West Country, he was spotted at the County Ground a few weeks back (as reported by this blog) and despite being a Bristol Rovers ‘Gashead’ at heart, many would bring him in for his enthusiasm and honesty alone. Oh, and he’s available…

The former QPR boss led the Hoops back into League 1 in 2004, but he couldn’t prevent Leicester from dropping through the relegation trap door last year.

But then there’s his loyalty, or lack of it… Holloway was speaking to other clubs while still at Loftus Road, what’s to say he’d do the same if he got off to a winning start here?

"Oi... oi... yes, over here. Pick me!" 

Steve Cotterill

His name springs up every time this job becomes available and he’s held in high regard by Town fans.

After ushering Cheltenham into the Football League he did well at Burnley, leaving the Clarets in a healthy position – despite having to sell his best players – before leaving in November last year. And going by this description of his approach upon taking over at Turf Moor, he could just be the perfect candidate…

“Cotterill has come in and performed in pre-season with great dignity, professionalism and drive. He has praised his predecessor, not made wild promises about gaining Premiership status in a short time and he has shown he is not willing to moan about finances but just get on with it.”

"I'm sure they said to meet at 11 for my interview..." 

Iain Dowie

The former Coventry manager’s fist-pumping ways are as far removed from Malpas’ withdrawn touchline demeanour as you can get, but his record polarises opinion.

There are those who believe his reign at Palace – where he led them to promotion to the top flight – gives him the credence to be taken seriously.

Others think it was a one-off. He was given short thrift by Charlton and he did little at Coventry. QPR? Well you or I could take a team into the top 10 with that kind of money.

I’m not convinced, but if he could motivate our under-performing stars then good luck to him.

"They're my balls and I'm taking them home, alright..." 

And the rest…

The usual rose-tinted suggestions, harking back to the glory days see Colin Calderwood, Martin Ling and, tediously, Lou Macari’s names come to the fore.

If the game had changed while Kevin Keegan had been away, then it’s a completely different sport since Macari turned pundit! I’d take - former Town striker and now Lillestrom's director of football - Jan-Aage Fjortoft though.

And if Kevin Keegan or Sam Allardyce get the job I’ll eat my hat!

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