With the League Two season ending in just over a month, Swindon Town are still without a permanent manager – so who should they be looking at for next season?

Swindon are yet to make clear what their plans are for who will be leading the team next season beyond Gavin Gunning being given an extended audition for the job he has professed to want. But what other options are out there?

My main criterion for producing these five potential candidates was that experience was key, particularly given the lack of it in other key roles at the club, someone who wouldn’t need much handholding is important. I have also been exclusively looking at out-of-work managers as I find Swindon poaching someone else’s boss highly unlikely.

Mark Bonner

My expectation of the current cachet of the Swindon job is pretty low, so I am partially doubting whether Bonner would hold out for something better. However, three successful years at Cambridge United make him a strong option. He won promotion to League One in his first full season and then kept Cambridge up in his second. The U’s let him go after a tough run this campaign, but the 38-year-old showed a lot during his stint to demonstrate he is equally adept at managing at both ends of a division. More importantly, think of the headlines I could have when Clem Morfuni gives him an ill-advised new contract two games into next season.

John Coleman

Another manager with a long legacy at one club that came to an end this season. Coleman took Accrington Stanley from the Northern Premier League to the EFL during his first spell there before leaving for Rochdale. He then returned in 2014 and spent another ten years in Lancashire, winning League Two and spending five seasons in League One before eventually being relegated. The 61-year-old has not been afraid to stand up to his owners before and knows plenty about working with less.

Matt Gray

There might be a theme here. Gray took over from Paul Doswell, Sutton United’s longest-serving manager, in 2019 and brought them to the EFL for the first time in their history in 2021. Gray very nearly had them in the League Two play-offs during his first season and also made the EFL Trophy final. A season of consolidation followed before things caught up with Sutton and he departed in December. Based on what he did in South London, it would be quite the stylistic departure, but if he finds room for Paul Glatzel then I am on board.

Lee Johnson

This one feels like a bit of a long shot, but a few disappointing roles and agreeing to work for Fleetwood Town given their current state might mean he is short of suitors. His and his father’s ties to Bristol City make it possible on geographical grounds, which as we all know is Swindon’s biggest Achilles heel. Johnson has some very impressive achievements as a manager and has even received praise from Pep Guardiola for his style of play (something which would have made Michael Flynn weak at the knees).

Ian Burchnall

This is my curveball on the list in the former Viking, Östersunds, Notts County, and Forest Green Rovers manager. Burchnall managed in Sweden and Norway, before taking County to the National League play-offs. He was played something of a hospital pass in Nailsworth after Rob Edwards and most of the club’s best players left following promotion, but that could make a League Two job his best option. If he still wants to manage rather than just coach at Wolves, then he could be an exciting choice who still has experience.