Next Sunderland Manager: Who is in the running to replace Phil Parkinson?

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 29 November 2020, 18:01

Sunderland have parted company with Phil Parkinson following a five game winless run.

Parkinson, who replaced Jack Ross, lasted just over a year in charge of the Black Cats with whom he leaves 8th in the League One table - the same position the club finished last season.

In a statement, Sunderland said:

Sunderland AFC has today parted company with manager Phil Parkinson. 

The 52-year-old was appointed in October 2019, overseeing a total of 47 matches during his 13 months at the Stadium of Light.

Assistant manager Steve Parkin also departs, and the club would like to place on record its thanks to both Phil and Steve for their efforts during their time at SAFC. 

Preparations for Tuesday’s Sky Bet League One fixture against Burton Albion will resume on Monday, with first-team coach Andrew Taylor taking charge of the squad.

The board will now begin the search for a new manager and will make no further comment until this process is completed. 

Sunderland, who have become the twelfth Football League club to make a managerial change this season, will now open up the search for their seventh boss in the last five years, during which they’ve sunk from the Premier League down to League One, and so far failed to escape the clutches of the third-tier.

The usual candidates are among the early contenders in the next Sunderland manager market.

We are of course referring to Paul Cook and Danny Cowley, who have featured in near enough every manager market this season, but could now be the right time for one of the bosses to return to the dugout?

Each have promotions on their CV, with Cook winning league titles with the likes of Wigan, Portsmouth and Chesterfield, while Cowley memorably led Lincoln from non-league to the upper-echelons of League One, before jumping up a division to Huddersfield.

Former Sunderland manager Gus Poyet is also an early contender in the betting. Poyet, alongside Jack Ross, is the club’s longest-serving boss in the last nine years with each boss overseeing 75 games at the helm.

After losing his job at the Stadium of Light in 2015, Poyet went on to oversee four teams in four different countries - AEK Athens, Real Betis, Shanghai Shenhua and Bordeaux - but has been out of work since leaving the latter in 2018.

Nigel Pearson and Lee Johnson are two other names in the frame, as is club legend Kevin Phillips, while 25/1 long shots include John Terry, Gordon Strachan and Eddie Howe.

Meanwhile, first-team coach Andrew Taylor will be in charge of the club for Tuesday's clash against Burton.

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