Two former Burnley staff could be set for new jobs

Last updated : 05 May 2002 By Tony Scholes

The one going home could be Adrian Heath who looks set to try his hand at management for a third time with his first and home town club Stoke City. Incredibly Stoke have reached the 2nd Division play off final against Brentford but it is believed that whatever the result Gudjon Thordasson will stand down.

Heath is tipped for the job with Steve Bould, another former Stoke player, as his assistant. The two of them were at Sunderland together before Bould's retirement and he is now on the staff at Arsenal.

Heath appears to work for Peter Reid at Sunderland between management jobs but is fiercely disliked by the supporters and it is he who is quite often the target because of the dreadfully poor for.

He hasn't been too successful in management either, only recently ex-Claret Jamie Hoyland admitted that he didn't know what to do when John Ward wasn't there and the figures reflect that, without Ward Heath collected 24 points from 24 games as Burnley manager and that is clearly relegation form. He said when he came back to Burnley that we were the sort of the club that becomes part of you and gets under the skin but when he left for Everton he said it was because Everton was the sort of club that becomes part of you and gets under the skin.

After a spell at Sunderland he became manager of Sheffield United but he walked out after just a few months as the pressure mounted and was replaced by Warnock. It now looks as though he could get a third, and surely last, chance at management back home at Stoke.

When the Clarets won the 4th Division Championship in 1991/92 under Jimmy Mullen there was no chief coach or assistant manager, that had been Mullen's job under Frank Casper and he didn't bring in a replacement.

During the first season out of the basement he finally appointed an assistant that if known to Burnley fans was only because of his spell as manager at Carlisle. It was Clive Middlemass. Many thought that Jimmy had brought in someone who would be no threat to him but the real reason was that Clive was a highly respected coach.

That didn't change at Burnley, you only need to speak to any of the players around at the time. As relations between the players and Mullen virtually disintegrated it was Middlemass who managed to keep it all together.

He lost his position as assistant manager when Adrian Heath came in as boss, he replaced him with John Ward, but Heath recognised the value of Clive and he was kept on at Turf Moor in a coaching and scouting role.

When Heath left he was in charge when the players returned for pre-season training but although retained by Waddle was pushed very much into the background. He left the Turf when Stan Ternent arrived but was quickly taken on by David Moyes at Preston where today some four years later he is still Chief Scout.

There has been a lot of suggestions that Moyes would return to Preston for Kelham O'Hanlon but it now looks as though his number one target is Clive. As Moyes starts to rebuild at his new club, Premiership Everton, it is now looking increasingly likely that Clive Middlemass will be joining him.

So the Premiership beckons, a far cry from the job that Waddle had him doing at Burnley.