Following Tuesday nights less than inspiring 0-0 draw against fellow strugglers Oxford United, rumours have begin to circulate on various unofficial Rochdale AFC forums and social media discussion groups that ex-Ipswich manager Paul Hurst was seen at Spotland (Crown Oil Arena) last night.
Hurst is a man I have written about before in connection to the Rochdale job. He had a lengthy 15 year playing career, making 438 appearances for Rotherham, where he met his joint manager Rob Scott.
The two teamed up to start their management career with Ilkeston Town in which they took them from 9th to 2nd, winning promotion to the Conference North through the play offs. They shortly left due to the clubs worrying financial situation.
Rob Scott followed him to Boston where they once again earned promotion to the Conference North, as well as winning the Northern Premier League Challenge Cup and the Lincolnshire Senior Shield.
Next up was a move to Grimsby where he eventually separated from Scott after being 2 years together in the role. He eventually went onto achieve promotion with Grimsby, guiding them back to the Football League after a 6 year absence.
His success at Grimsby was noticed by Shrewsbury where he took up the managerial position in October 2016. Leading them to an ultimately unsuccessful play off final at Wembley, against the side who he featured for throughout his playing career – Rotherham.
This saw him move up a league again to Ipswich, but he was unable to ever really get a run going and won only once in his opening 14 league games and lost on penalties to Exeter in the EFL Cup. A run which saw him sacked after just 5 months, the shortest managerial reign in Ipswich history.
His sighting at Spotland has seen a shift in the betting market as seemingly people have been getting their money on him. He was 10/1 3rd favourite for the job with Sky Bet on Tuesday night. Yesterday morning he had come into 5/2 2nd favourite. Current caretaker Brian Barry-Murphy is now 3rd favourite at 3/1 with Ian Evatt still favourite but drifting from 4/5 to 6/4.
Could Hurst be the man to keep the Rochdale in League One?