Millwall next permanent manager odds
Millwall have been bouncing between the second and third tiers of English football for almost three decades, since suffering relegation from the top flight back in the 1989/90 season.
Five seasons in the Championship meant that it was once again time for Millwall to drop down a division, with a dreadful 2014/15 season eventually resulting in a 22nd place finish and relegation down to League One.
Unsurprisingly, poor results eventually cost manager Ian Holloway his job in March 2015, with club legend Neil Harris, who played more than 350 games for the club, taking over as caretaker manager. Despite failing to guide the club out of the relegation zone, Harris was eventually handed a permanent contract at the end of the season.
Harris made a good start to his managerial career, guiding Millwall to a fourth place finish, just four points off of the automatic promotion spot that would have seen them return straight back to the Championship. Despite suffering a 3-1 defeat to Barnsley in the play-off final, Harris had proved that he was capable of taking the club back up.
However, football can have a short memory at times, and with Millwall currently sat in ninth place, 16 points off of league leaders Scunthorpe, things could quickly sour for Harris in the Millwall hotseat.
Should Harris lose his place, the club could consider the idea of hiring another former player in Dennis Wise, who reportedly applied for the vacant role back in 2013.
Wise hasn’t held a management position since leaving his post at Leeds United back at 2008 and has been out of football completely since leaving his Executive Director of Football role at Newcastle United a year later. The former midfielder admitted that breakdown in relations at Newcastle, which led to his exit, caused lasting damage to his career, but he is thought to be ready to return to management, having now taken some time out.
Wise would be a risky option, given his lengthy sabbatical from the game. However, if the club are looking to play it safe, Steve Cotterill would be worth a shot.
The experienced manager has been without work since January after he was relieved of his duties at Bristol City following a number of poor results in the Championship. While his spell with the club was undeniably disappointing, he has produced results with the likes of Stoke City, Burnley, Portsmouth and Nottingham Forest in the second tier in the past, which will make him a tempting target for the Millwall board.
Stability can play a big part in the long-term success of a club and, given the high turnover of managers in recent seasons, Millwall should be looking for somebody who is likely to stay at the club for a number of years. While it would be a tough task for the club to convince him to jump ship, AFC Wimbledon’s Neal Ardley would be a fantastic choice.
Ardley is committed to Millwall’s South London rivals at the moment, who are exceeding expectations in their first season in League One, but if Millwall can get their title challenge back on track, there is a glimmer of hope that he could be convinced.