Falkirk have been left without a manager for the second time in just over a year after Gary Holt sealed a return to former club Norwich City yesterday as an assistant to new manager Neil Adams.

Holt joined Falkirk for his first commission last April following Steven Pressley's departure for Coventry City and came close to steering them to promotion in his first full season in charge.

However, bowing out by landing the Championship manager of the month award for April, the former Kilmarnock midfielder has opted to return to Carrow Road, where he was a player for four years and assistant academy manager for three years before moving north last year.

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Names already being linked with the Falkirk post include Gary Locke, who was recently sacked by Hearts, Inverness assistant Russell Latapy, Dumbarton manager Ian Murray and Greig McDonald of Stirling Albion.

Falkirk gave Holt permission to speak to his old club at the weekend and the former Scotland midfielder agreed a deal to return to the relegated Norfolk outfit as first-team coach yesterday.

Falkirk initially announced Holt's exit in early afternoon in a statement that detailed the 'very tight' timescales for applications for the post and the board's desire to appoint a new manager in time for the start of pre-season training on June 26.

The communication also quoted chairman Martin Ritchie as saying: "The club fully understands Gary's wishes to return with his family to Norwich. We would like to wish him every success in the future and to thank him for all his work at Falkirk over the last year."

They then retracted that statement following an apparent difference of opinion internally over its timing, and issued an "apology" as they awaited a "formal agreement", which duly came shortly after 5pm, when they reposted the bulletins on their website.