Who should replace Jack Ross at Sunderland? Here are four interesting contenders for the League One job

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 08 October 2019, 19:11

Sunderland are searching for their 11th manager in the last decade after the club opted to sack Jack Ross on Tuesday afternoon, 14 league and cup games into his second season at the helm.

A plethora of managers have already been catapulted into the next Sunderland manager market, four of which we take a look at below…

Daniel Stendel

What a whirlwind 12 hours it’s been for Daniel Stendel.

On Tuesday morning he discovered that he’d been sacked by Barnsley, just five months after leading the club to Championship promotion.

But fast-forward to the afternoon and the German had been installed as one of the early favourites for the Sunderland job.

Stendel is an attractive option given the impressive work he did at Barnsley, with whom he led to second-spot in League One last season.

It may not have worked out for him in the Championship - although to many his sacking was premature - but if Sunderland are keen for a proven third-tier manager who employs attacking football, then Stendel is the go-to man.

Roy Keane

Roy Keane has cropped up in more manager markets in the last few months, than in the last few years. He’s everywhere at the moment.

The Irishman, who recently stated he wants to give management another shot, has been hotly linked with the Millwall vacancy, where he remains a 6/1 shot.

But Sunderland could prove to be the more tempting option for Keane, considering that it’s where he began his managerial career back in 2006.

At the time, the Black Cats had endured a poor start to the Championship season, but in came no-holds-barred Keane who propelled the club out of the relegation zone all the way to the title, in the space of eight months.

He successfully preserved Sunderland’s Premier League status, however he then walked out on the club mid-way through his third season, a decision which reportedly delighted the players.

He’s since only managed Ipswich, a brief 18-month spell that ended in early 2011, yet a return to the Stadium of Light could now be on the cards…

Kevin Phillips

How about Sunderland go for a club legend who is looking to launch his managerial career.

Step forward, Kevin Phillips.

Sunderland aren’t exactly doing awfully at the moment. They are currently in the League One play-offs, four points off the top-two, and through to the fourth round of the League Cup.

However, the atmosphere can hardly be described as electric, so why not bring in a popular ex-striker to lift spirits and get bums on seats.

The club’s former European Golden Shoe winner - he’s the only Englishman to win this accolade - has had coaching spells with Leicester, Derby, and most recently Stoke but now the time could be right for his first spell in management at the club he knows best.

Gareth Ainsworth

Only Jim Bentley sits above Gareth Ainsworth in the list of longest-serving managers in English football (top-four tiers), and it’s no surprise to see that the Wycombe boss has appeared in yet another manager market.

Afterall, 2nd-placed Wycombe have flown out of the third-tier traps this season, carding 23 points from 12 games, four more than Sunderland.

He continues to shine but recently Wycombe fans were thrown into panic mode after Ainsworth revealed that while he is happy at the Chairboys, he is an ambitious manager who wants to test himself in the Championship.

Given Wycombe’s stunning start it would be a surprise if Ainsworth actually did leave his post, but if Sunderland come calling with a lucrative salary offer and promises of a big transfer budget, then his head could well be turned.

Managers Departed

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Wally Downes
Wally Downes
(AFC Wimbledon)
20th October
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