Ex QPR and Birmingham City coach early frontrunner for vacant Huddersfield Town job

The former QPR coach was sacked by Birmingham City in a surprise decision last October.
Darren Moore has been sacked by Huddersfield Town (Image: Getty Images)Darren Moore has been sacked by Huddersfield Town (Image: Getty Images)
Darren Moore has been sacked by Huddersfield Town (Image: Getty Images)

Former QPR coach John Eustace has emerged as an early frontrunner to replace Darren Moore at Huddersfield Town after the Rs' rivals parted ways with the 49-year-old on Monday.

The news from Yorkshire comes after the club drew 1-1 against QPR at Loftus Road on Sunday afternoon. The relegation six-pointer in the Championship was a cagey affair lacking quality which the Terriers appeared to have won with a late goal before a Kenneth Paal equaliser in extra time.

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A point shared meant that Huddersfield Town stayed out of the relegation zone but that was not enough to save Moore, whose side have won just one match since the start of December. Huddersfield owner and chairman Kevin Nagle said: "We have to make this decision to give us the best chance of maintaining our Sky Bet Championship status come the end of the season. Darren is a fantastic man, and he has worked tirelessly since taking the job back in September. I know I speak for everyone at the club in wishing him the very best for the future.

"We appointed Darren on the strength of his credentials as a manager, but it is now clear that this has not worked as we envisaged and hoped. There have absolutely been mitigating circumstances, such as the high number of injuries that Darren has had to cope with, but we have still not seen enough on the pitch in terms of results or the direction of travel in playing style and performances.

"I believe that our current squad is capable of more, particularly on the back of the work we have carried out in this transfer window, and we’re quickly moving to identify the right person to lead them through a crucial period of the season. We hope to make that managerial appointment soon."

It is, of course, significant news for QPR supporters with the club in a relegation dogfight against Huddersfield Town. Just three points separate the two clubs in 21st and 22nd.

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Former QPR coach John Eustace has emerged as an early lead candidate for the Huddersfield job. The ex-midfielder, who was sacked in a surprise decision by Birmingham City last October with the club in sixth place, joined QPR as Assistant Manager under Steve McClaren in 2018.

Darren Moore has been sacked by Huddersfield Town (Image: Getty Images)Darren Moore has been sacked by Huddersfield Town (Image: Getty Images)
Darren Moore has been sacked by Huddersfield Town (Image: Getty Images)

He took temporary charge of the side when McClaren left in April 2019 and oversaw the final seven fixtures of that campaign. Eustace then worked as a coach at the club until 2022 before leaving to work with the Republic of Ireland. The coach is 5/1 favourite to land the Hudersfield Town role.

At the time of his departure, QPR CEO Lee Hoos said: “John has been the ultimate professional from the moment he joined us four years ago. He has a fantastic attitude and is an incredibly hard-working individual. Both personally and on behalf of the club, I would like to place on record my sincere thanks to John and Matt [Gardiner] for all their efforts during their time with us.”

Eustace had enjoyed a hugely successful spell at Birmingham City after arriving in July 2022. He took a Blues side tipped for relegation to a 17th-place finish and their highest points tally since 2016. Following his surprise departure last year, the club appointed and then sacked Manchester United legend Wayne Rooney. Birmingham City now sit 20th in the league.

Former Southampton boss Nathan Jones and recently departed Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom have also been named as early candidates for the job.