FORMER Saints coach David Hockaday could be set to make a shock return to the dugout with Championship giants Leeds United.

The 56-year-old has sensationally emerged as the bookies’ favourite to replace Brian McDermott at the Elland Road helm after a flurry of bets saw his odds fall from 50-1 to 6-4 with Sky Bet on Saturday.

Paul Wiggins, Sky Bet's head of football, said: "Since we had a request for Hockaday this morning the business for him has been one way.”

Other frontrunners for the job are thought to include former West Ham and Watford boss Gianfranco Zola, Benito Carbone and Gianluca Festa.

Hockaday’s only managerial experience came at Forest Green, where he was in charge for over four years after replacing Jim Harvey in September 2009, but he left the club by mutual consent last October after a run of seven defeats in eight games.

He previously worked as a coach at Championship level with Saints (2007-2009), Watford and Leicester City.