Plymouth Argyle keep options open on director of football role
ARGYLE are about to start another round of interviews as they seek a director of football to work with manager Carl Fletcher.
Some new candidates have come forward in the past fortnight since John Ward decided not to take up the vacancy at Home Park in order to become the new boss of Bristol Rovers.
There is bound to be speculation linking Sean O'Driscoll with Argyle's director of football post after his shock sacking by Nottingham Forest.
O'Driscoll had been set to become a 'mentor' to Fletcher in January until, at the last moment, he was offered the chance to become first team coach at Forest.
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Fletcher, 32, has a high regard for 55-year-old O'Driscoll, who was his manager when he played at Bournemouth.
O'Driscoll was appointed as Forest manager in the summer and they were eighth in the Championship, following a 4-2 home win against Leeds United on Boxing Day, when he was dismissed.
Fletcher was asked by Herald Sport whether O'Driscoll could be a contender for the director of football role at Argyle and he replied: "I'm not too sure to be honest.
"He only got sacked on Boxing Day so it's very fresh. I couldn't possibly comment."
O'Driscoll's departure from Forest came with them only one point outside a play-off position in the Championship.
Fletcher said: "Nothing shocks you in football. It's the same as (Roberto) Di Matteo at Chelsea.
"I stopped many years trying to figure out why people make decisions in football, whether it be players, managers, owners or the FA. You just have to deal with what you are given."
Argyle are seeking someone as their director of football who does not want to be a manager any more.
That might rule out O'Driscoll as other clubs could want him as their boss after what he achieved at Forest, despite his eventual dismissal.
Speaking to Herald Sport before O'Driscoll was sacked, Argyle director Colin Sexstone said there was one 'stand-out' candidate from the new applications for the vacancy at Home Park.
Sexstone said: "We want to move quickly, but we also want to do it correctly. We are doing some interviews very shortly.
"We have had more interesting candidates come up that we haven't had before so we are going to have a chat with them."
He added: "I would say there is a stand-out candidate but there are a couple of complications so we have to work on that."
Sexstone was keen to emphasise the director of football would have an input into team selection and tactics but the final responsibility on both would rest with Fletcher.
The Pilgrims boss will sit in on the interview process, which is being led by Sexstone, the former chief executive and chairman of Bristol City.
Sexstone said: "Only one man can decide on tactics and team selection, and that's the manager. We don't want to do it by committee.
"But we certainly expect the manager to ask for the input of the director of football.
"We would also expect the director of football to give the board the same sort of advice on how the team are performing and what players are available, for example. That's why it's very important we try to get an experienced ex-manager because we want that person to have an input."
Sexstone insisted Argyle had not ruled out appointing someone who was already employed at another club, and were not restricting their search only to people who were out of work.
He said: "There were a number of people who are in work who have approached us but maybe they weren't quite the right fit for us.
"It's always an extra complication when you have to get somebody out from another club, clearly on the cost."