Mick McCarthy is in pole position to become the new Ipswich manager, although an appointment is not expected on Wednesday.

The Tractor Boys, who parted company with Paul Jewell last week, interviewed several candidates yesterday, but are reported to have more talks lined up with the former Wolves and Sunderland boss this morning.

While reports of a three-year deal already being agreed may be premature, it looks likely McCarthy will be handed the task of steering Town away from relegation trouble in the npower Championship, with an announcement expected before Saturday's trip to Birmingham.

The 53-year-old, who has also attracted interest from Crystal Palace, has been out of work since being sacked by Wolves in February and looks set to beat off competition from Owen Coyle and Alan Shearer for the role.

Town find themselves cut adrift at the foot of the table following a 12-match winless sequence and a club-record run of 10 league games without a home victory which stretches back to March.