Michael Bridges is now the strong favourite for the Carlisle United job with bookies.

The former striker’s odds for the Brunton Park post have been slashed to 1/4 with SkyBet.

Australia-based Bridges, who has made little secret in the past of his interest in managing the Blues, today set tongues wagging with an Instagram post that suggested he was flying into the country, with his plane above Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

The 41-year-old former United and Premier League favourite has never managed, although has coaching experience and qualifications.

He was interested in the Carlisle job in summer 2018 before John Sheridan was appointed. Bridges is also 6/4 favourite with BetVictor.

Carlisle have not said when they will start interviewing candidates. The Blues yesterday claimed they have received more than 100 applications and described the vacancy as one for a "head coach".

Others at short odds include Owen Coyle, Paul Heckingbottom, Neil Redfearn and caretaker Gavin Skelton, who will remain in charge for this weekend's home game against Cambridge.