Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Grayson and Clark reject Leicester move

Leeds United manager and former Fox, Simon Grayson, has rejected any possibility of a move back to the East Midlands.

Along with Huddersfield Town manager Lee Clark, Grayson has not applied for the vacant managerial position at the King Power Stadium and the Yorkshireman has affirmed his relationship with his current club.

"[Leicester] is a club that's very close to my heart, but [Leeds] is far closer to my heart," said Grayson in an interview with the Yorkshire Post, "I've had an affiliation with Leicester in the past, but my sole aim is to do well for Leeds. I'm totally focused on Leeds and that focus has never dwindled during my time at the club."

Clark, meanwhile, remained cool on the idea of applying for the Leicester job. He had become a popular left-field option amongst fans after guiding Huddersfield to an unbeaten run exceeding forty games.

"I'm not applying for any job," said Clark speaking to BBC Leeds, "I'm a Huddersfield manager working for a fantastic man and a fantastic board. Whether it's just to fill areas in newspapers, I don't know, but there has certainly not been any contact with me or my representatives."

Both Grayson and Celtic manager Neil Lennon, who played under Martin O'Neill at Filbert Street, have given the Ulsterman their backing.

"It would be great to see [Martin O'Neill] back in the game," said Lennon, "One of his old adages was that you never go back, but I think it is very, very tempting for him. There is a good foundation at Leicester and I think the Leicester fans would be more than thrilled to see him back because he had such success there in the late 90s and the early part of the century. He has been out of the game for a long time. It’s the game’s loss to have such a great character and manager out of the game and if he does get the job I will be thrilled for him."

Grayson added: "I'd be very surprised if Martin O'Neill doesn’t accept the job if he's offered it."

Former Fox Steve Claridge - who scored at Wembley to take O'Neill's side into the Premier League in 1996 - added his thoughts and he also believes the job is their if the ex-Aston Villa boss desires it.

"It was always going to be the case that he would be mentioned," said Claridge, now a BBC pundit, "Whether or not Martin would want to go back I don’t know but I imagine if he did want the job it is there for the taking."

Rumours linking O'Neill with the post vacated by Sven Goran Eriksson on Monday night continue to circulate without concrete evidence from either O'Neill himself or the club. The Leicester Mercury, meanwhile, have suggested that the Swede was fired after Leicester City's Thai owners examined his form since joining the club  a year ago.

And, with Eriksson failing to secure successive wins since February and with his side failing to come from behind in any game to win, only the 1-0 victory over Brighton & Hove Albion in mid-September saved Eriksson's job. Indifferent form since then led Vichai and Aiyawatt Raksriaksorn with little option but to relieve Eriksson of his postion. 
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