Freed from the tyrannical influence of Felix Magath, Fulham have been bubbling along quite nicely since the German manager was fired in mid-September.
They have won three of the five games since then in all competitions, and there is reason to hope that the Cottagers can still rescue this season despite currently sitting in the Championship relegation zone.
Kit Symons has worked himself into the frame for the manager’s job at Craven Cottage after his successful caretaker stint, and he is joined on a three-man shortlist by Chris Hughton and Steve Clarke.
We assess which of the trio would be the best bet for Fulham, who are 7/4 to win their next match against Norwich City.
Kit Symons – 1/1 to be Fulham’s next permanent manager.
Let’s start with the man currently in the hot-seat, as the caretaker has produced enough good results in his brief tenure to put him squarely in the running for the permanent role.
Symons has already picked up impressive Championship victories over Birmingham and Bolton, as well as beating Doncaster in the Capital One Cup.
However, it’s hard to say how much of an effect Symons had in comparison to the blessed relief of Magath’s departure, and a 2-0 loss to Middlesbrough in Fulham’s last match has taken the shine off his credentials.
Symons has another opportunity to make his case against Norwich this weekend, anything less than a win will likely push him out of the picture.
Chris Hugton – 5/6 to be Fulham’s next permanent manager.
Hughton has done a solid if unspectacular job at each of the three clubs he has managed so far, and there is a case for saying both Newcastle and Norwich were slightly harsh in sacking him.
The 55-year-old took the Magpies back into the Premier League in fine fashion only to be quickly dismissed in favour of Alan Pardew, while the Canaries had more justification for firing him despite an 11th-place finish in his first season at Carrow Road.
In between, Hughton took Birmingham to fourth in the Championship, demonstrating his credentials in England’s second-tier. He looks the smartest choice for Fulham.
Steve Clarke – 11/2 to be Fulham’s next permanent manager.
As with Hughton at Newcastle, there were plenty of questions asked when West Brom fired Clarke a few months after he had led the Baggies to eighth in the Premier League.
However, Clarke presided over a record of just nine wins in his final 41 league games in charge at the Hawthorns, and significant doubts remain over his managerial ability.
The Scot could prove an inspired appointment for Fulham, but Hughton looks the safer bet due to his experience in the second-tier.