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Stewart follows Coyle out at Wigan

5 December 2013

Assistant manager Sandy Stewart has followed Owen Coyle out of the exit door at Wigan after helping man the fort for Wednesday's clash with Leeds.

Latics confirmed Stewart, who has been Coyle's right-hand man at Burnley, Bolton and his most recent employers, had left the DW Stadium following the 2-0 defeat to the Whites.

Stewart had aided caretaker boss Graham Barrow in selecting a team for the trip to Elland Road which came just three days after Coyle had seen his resignation offer accepted by Wigan chairman Dave Whelan, who claimed the regime did not get on with either him, the fans or the players.

Given Stewart's proximity to Coyle, the news comes as no surprise with Whelan looking to swiftly move on from the team he installed just six months ago.

A short statement on Latics' website said: "Wigan Athletic can confirm that assistant manager Sandy Stewart has left the club following the departure of Owen Coyle.

"Wigan Athletic would like to place on record its thanks to Sandy and wish him good luck in his future career."

Barrow, speaking after the Leeds game, said he expects to be in charge for Saturday's trip to Millwall yet Whelan has spoken of his desire to make a quick appointment as they strive for a return to the Barclays Premier League, where they spent eight years prior to their relegation in May.

Ian Holloway has been made one of the frontrunners by the bookies and after initially keeping mum on whether the vacancy would appeal to him, he confirmed his desire to succeed Coyle on Tuesday night.

Speaking in his role as a pundit for BT Sport, the former Crystal Palace boss said: "Of course I'm interested. But are they interested in me?

"Who am I to sit here and say certain things? Obviously the way they play football, the way they try and pass it and the way their players are [is attractive].

"But unfortunately it's not my decision. I'd probably give it to me, but it's not my choice."

However, Holloway, who has two promotions into the top flight, on his resume, claimed there had been no contact from Whelan.

He appears to be in the same boat as Sir Alex Ferguson's former assistant at Manchester United, Mike Phelan, who is also fancied by punters but confirmed to Al Jazeera Sport on Wednesday night that he too had not heard from Wigan.

That is understandable given the manner of Coyle's exit with Whelan electing to move on just days after he had told an audience in Barbados that he was impressed with the start his manager had made.

Barrow expects the process of identifying a new boss will speed up on Thursday.

Asked if he thinks he will take charge again at The Den this weekend, Barrow said: "You never know, but I would think so. I think it's probably too early for anybody else to come in.

"But I just take it as it comes. There hasn't been much time to talk to people, hopefully (on Thursday) somebody will probably come down to see us - the chief executive or the chairman and we'll just have to take it from there."

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