Kevin Blackwell could return as Plymouth Argyle's new manager
FORMER Plymouth Argyle goalkeeper and youth team coach Kevin Blackwell could be set for a return to Home Park as the League Two club's new manager.
Herald Sport understands 54-year-old Blackwell, currently the boss of financially-troubled Bury, is on the Pilgrims' shortlist, with interviews expected to take place imminently.
Argyle are also thought to have targeted Keith Hill, who was sacked by Championship club Barnsley only last Saturday, and former Chesterfield manager John Sheridan.
Hill, 43, was a centre-back for Argyle for four seasons after arriving from Blackburn Rovers in 1992, as part of a deal which took Nicky Marker in the opposite direction.
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Sheridan, the 48-year-old former Republic of Ireland international midfielder, was relieved of his duties at Chesterfield in August.
Former Hull City chief Phil Brown and Notts County first team coach Colin Lee have also been linked with the Argyle vacancy, caused by the sacking of Carl Fletcher.
Lee, the ex-Torquay United manager and chief executive, has publicly stated his interest in taking over at Home Park.
With Argyle facing a fight against relegation from League Two, the club's power-brokers are aiming to make a managerial appointment early next week.
Romain Larrieu and Kevin Nancekivell have taken temporary charge of the first team after the departure of Fletcher.
The struggling Pilgrims are away to second-placed Port Vale tomorrow (3pm), amid speculation linking the Potteries' club with Argyle's transfer-listed centre-back Darren Purse.
Vale manager Micky Adams is trying to bolster his defence because John McCombe has been ruled out for six weeks-plus by a medial knee ligament injury. Herald Sport understands talks have taken place between Purse and Port Vale this week.
Purse did not play in Argyle's 2-1 defeat at Bristol Rovers on New Year's Day because of a hamstring injury but it is not considered a serious problem.
Blackwell had previously managed Leeds United, Luton Town and Sheffield United before his appointment by Bury in September.
They were bottom of League One at the time, and their results showed an improvement after his arrival.
However, a transfer embargo was imposed on the Shakers in December after they received a short-term loan from the Professional Footballers' Association and they have not won since then, slipping to 22nd position.
Blackwell was one of several signings made by Neil Warnock after he became Argyle manager in the summer of 1995.
He went on to make 27 appearances for the Pilgrims, and also worked as the club's youth team coach.
After Warnock was sacked in 1997, his No 2 Mick Jones stepped up to the role and he appointed Blackwell as his assistant.
The pair were dismissed in the summer of 1998, after the Pilgrims were relegated to the bottom division of the Football League.
Blackwell took Leeds and Sheffield United to Championship play-off finals at Wembley, in 2006 and 2008 respectively, but lost both of them.
Hill was sacked by Barnsley, with the South Yorkshire club bottom of the Championship, after a 3-1 home defeat by Blackburn Rovers on Saturday.
Barnsley finished 21st in 2011/12, narrowly escaping relegation, in his first season as their manager.
He had previously led Rochdale to promotion from League Two on a tight budget.
Sheridan (pictured above) was the manager of Oldham Athletic from 2006 to 2009 after a previous spell in caretaker charge.
He was appointed by Chesterfield in June 2009 and led them to the League Two title in 2010/11, but they were relegated last term.
After picking up only two points from their first three league games this season, Chesterfield put Sheridan on gardening leave and he later left the club.