IAN Evatt’s name continues to circulate in speculation over who will take over as manager of Championship club Blackpool.

Cheltenham Town boss Michael Duff, also wanted by Barnsley, was granted permission to speak with the Bloomfield Road club yesterday, and ex-Wanderer Dean Holden – now assistant at Stoke City – has also been strongly linked with the post.

But Evatt, a former Blackpool player and a young manager who has enjoyed success in his early career with promotions at Wanderers and Barrow, continues to be mentioned as a candidate.

Evatt signed a new three-year contract at the University of Bolton Stadium in May 2021 and speaking at the end of last season claimed that he was “not interested” in other jobs, with his focus set entirely on leading Wanderers into the Championship.

As yet, Wanderers have made no comment on the situation but with just nine days remaining before players start returning for pre-season testing at Lostock, any official communication would surely be an unwanted distraction to preparations for the new League One campaign.

Derby County assistant Liam Rosenior has also been linked with the job with Blackpool seemingly intent on appointing a young manager in a similar vein to their last, Neil Critchley, who left abruptly to become Steven Gerrard’s right-hand-man at Aston Villa last week.

Blackpool CEO Ben Mansford gave the following update to supporters yesterday.

"We understand that there are a range of emotions that everyone is going through," he said. "This is a really important decision for us.

"It is so important that we get the decision right so we need to make sure, even though pre-season starts on June 20 and the season is eight weeks away, we are respectful to supporters who want to see us move with the dynamic.

"I hope they know that most of the decisions we have made in the last three years have tried to be the best ones. We have criteria that we think are important with different personalities and profiles.

"I don't think we are specific to the person and the career they've had but they have to be hard working and understand the town. They have to have us organised and entertained.

"They need to understand where we are and what we are about. They need to develop players and have some nouse.

"You have to compete with teams that have bigger budgets and better players and prepare us tactically. I think we are working to move things forward as quickly as possible but it's really important we make the right decision.

"We are under some time pressures but we have a set of criteria that we are looking for in the next candidate. This is a good job for someone, the club has come on so far and I hope the next person that comes in is here because they want to be here."