Will Gavin Gunning Be Swindon Town's Next Permanent Manager?

By Barrie Hudson - 14 March 2024


Gavin Gunning is holding the Swindon Town managerial reins for a third time on an interim basis until the end of the season as the club decides who should permanently replace Michael Flynn, who left The Robins in January. Gunning has been in charge for the past ten Swindon League Two fixtures, with mixed results.

The Robins sit securely in mid-table with eight games remaining in the 2023/24 season, 12 points off the relegation positions. The top football betting sites in the UK offer odds of 200/1 on Swindon getting relegated, with six teams more favoured for the drop. 

"Mad Gav" has been part of the Swindon coaching staff since early 2022 and has been afforded a prolonged opportunity to stake a claim for the permanent manager's role. While the 33-year-old Irishman has held the interim role this time, Swindon has won against Bradford City and Tranmere while drawing games with Salford City, Gillingham, Stockport and Harrowgate Town. 

The team's defeats over Gunning's period in charge have come against Newport County, MK Dons, Mansfield Town and Accrington Stanley. All these teams are above Swindon in the League Two log.

At the time of writing, Gunning is preparing his squad for March fixtures against Doncaster, Walsall and Notts County. Having witnessed Swindon lose its last two league fixtures, the stand-in gaffer will demand a good showing against eighth-placed Walsall while expecting to pick up maximum points against the other two sides, both of which are in similar League Two log positions to The Robins.

Would Gunning want the head coach position, though? We should remember he ruled himself out of the running when Scott Lindsey left for Crawley Town just over a year ago. Now, with more time spent at the club, the popular ex-defender will likely be more willing to take on a permanent managerial role if offered by Swindon's hierarchy. 

Of course, a lot could depend on how he feels about the make-up of the current squad and what transfer funds might be forthcoming for the new season. Should he be successful in the interim role, many bookmakers make him a favourite to assume the permanent manager's position. There are still a couple of other strong candidates, should they be available.

At 65, Gunning's fellow Irishman Chris Hughton has managerial experience with Tottenham Hotspur, Newcastle United, Birmingham City, Norwich, Brighton and Nottingham Forest. He was most recently coach of the Ghana National team, leading them to the AFCON finals in the Ivory Coast earlier this year. Should Hughton throw his name into the hat, Swindon's owners would seriously consider him.

Scottish international Paul Caddis represented The Robins on over 120 occasions as a player and would be a popular choice with most Swindon fans. In his first season as head coach of Hereford Town in the Vanarama National North League, Caddis has led his charges to 9th position. The 35-year-old would likely welcome a return to the County Ground.

Much will depend on the direction Swindon Chairman Clem Morfuni decides on for the future. Although Gunning officially holds the manager's position until the season's end, choosing the experienced option of Chris Hughton may necessitate a quicker announcement by the Chairman for next season to secure his man. 

Should Morfuni choose to appoint a younger manager, he's allowed Swindon Town time to test Gavin Gunning's abilities further temporarily, with the option to offer him or Paul Caddis the permanent role after the 2023/24 season ends. 


Your Comments

Be the first to comment on this article

Login or Register to post a comment on this article

Subscribe to The Link

Registered in England & Wales. No: 4513027, Positive Media Group, Old Bank House, 5 Devizes Road, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 4BJ