Bookies’ favourite Billy Dodds will be a genuine contender to be the new Caley Thistle boss – if he throws his hat in the ring.
And it’s understood that first-team coaches Barry Wilson and Ryan Esson will remain within the backroom set-up, no matter who takes over from John Robertson.
On Thursday, two-times manager Robbo, 56, was confirmed as ICT’s first sporting director.
This follows his time away from frontline management since February on compassionate leave following a family bereavement.
The Highland capital club has set a short deadline of next Friday for the closure of applications, so it wants the post filled swiftly.
— McBookie (@McBookie) May 14, 2021
Ex-Aberdeen and Dundee United striker and Ross County assistant boss Dodds refused to rule out applying for the vacancy on BBC Radio Scotland this week just hours after it was confirmed that Robertson was not returning as the manager.
Swift appointment if Dodds applies
The 52-year-old, who lives locally, said Inverness would “be a brilliant job for somebody” and admitted he “loved his time there”.
And it’s thought that if he applies then he’d be almost certain to be appointed without delay.
Dodds, Wilson and Esson all worked tremendously well together with interim manager Neil McCann, who is not in for the job as he pursues a football advisor role.
The trio have an excellent working relationship and chief executive Scot Gardiner might well be tempted by such a seamless transition.
There is real disappointment within the club that McCann can’t take on the job.
However, it is understandable as he did stress that he was only in until the end of the season, to “keep the seat warm” for what was intended to be Robbo’s hot-seat return.
To secure the services of Dodds would be seen by fans like a win-win situation.
Three of the four coaches who helped ICT rise from second bottom of the Championship to just three points shy of the promotion play-offs would be in place for next term.
The potential manager’s list drawn up by mcbookie.com makes for interesting reading.
Dodds is the 2/1 favourite, with Paul Sheerin at Aberdeen just behind him.
Stewart Petrie (Montrose), Darren Young (East Fife), David Robertson (Real Kashmir) and Jon Daly (TPS Turku in Finland) are just some of the interesting names linked.
Kellacher to come back when ready
Wilson and Esson’s contracts were due to be up at the end of this month, but they will be going nowhere and the door is open for assistant manager Scott Kellacher to come back once he recovers from his illness.
In February, alongside the news of Robertson taking a step back, it was confirmed that Kellacher would be out due to “serious illness”.
He is expected to be back at the Caledonian Stadium, although no timescale has been drawn up with the emphasis very much on his recovery.
Could a McIntyre and Dodds reunion on the cards?
Ex-Ross County manager Jim McIntyre could well be another lively option for Inverness, especially working alongside his former assistant Dodds, and Wilson and Esson.
McIntyre, who has also bossed Dunfermline Athletic and Queen of the South, knows the Scottish leagues inside out.
With Dodds, he guided County to top half finishes in the Premiership as well as the sensational League Cup triumph in 2016.
The duo were sacked in September 2017 after a tricky start to the campaign had the side sitting 10th.
Sheerin in the frame
Other possible contenders for the manager’s job could be former ICT stars Paul Sheerin and Barry Robson, who are within the coaching group at Aberdeen.
Sheerin, who took charge of the Reds for three matches after Derek McInnes was sacked in March, has confirmed that he is expecting to be part of the staff under new manager Stephen Glass.
The 46-year-old, who has been interested in the Inverness job previously, appeared to enjoy that very short stint back in the limelight.
Two notable achievements on his CV are that he led Arbroath to their first league title in 2011 when they won the old Third Division, and coached Aberdeen to the Development League crown six years ago.
Both of these successes were delivered within his first year of taking the jobs, so he gets results quickly.
Projects for the new sporting director
As we reported yesterday, there will be a clear divide between Robertson’s new position the new manager.
There are many projects away from the pitch for Robbo to get his teeth into sooner rather than later.
And his successor will be allowed the freedom to be their own man, albeit the lines of communication will always remain open.