With 15 games played in the Championship it’s perhaps time to be saying that Sunderland look likely to be in for another relegation fight this season, after opening their campaign with just one victory, seven draws and seven defeats. Simon Grayson was sacked after a 3-3 draw at home to bottom-side Bolton and now the Black Cats are searching for yet another manager. What Are The Odds looks at the likely candidates to help steer the north east club to safety and a return to the Premier League.
Whoever the next man in-charge is at the Stadium of Light will have to navigate an immediate tricky fixture list - with just one home game in their next four Championship outings and according to Paddy Power the likely man at this time is Aitor Karanka.
The Spaniard guided rivals Middlesbrough to top-flight promotion but ultimately got the boot with relegation imminent and later confirmed. Karanka knows the area well after a number of seasons at Boro and may fancy a similar challenge with Sunderland - but would Black Cats fans fancy a rivals former boss? Odds of 5/2 (3.50) edge the former Real Madrid player ahead as favourite.
Next in the market is Peter Reid, yes Peter Reid - with odds of 5/1 (6.00) to return to Sunderland having managed them way back between 1995 and 2002. The 61-year old has been out of management in England since departing Plymouth Argyle in 2011, and had a short spell in charge of Mumbai City in India back in 2014. Reid wouldn’t be the progressive move that fans would hope for in ushering a new era at the club, but if it’s experience and ‘know-how’ of the inner workings of Sunderland that’s required, then the Englishman might just be the man.
Kevin Phillips would be the most interesting choice, the former Golden Boot winner was prolific for Sunderland, scoring 30 goals in that award-winning season in 1999/2000. Now 44, the player turned coach would be the breathe of fresh air that the club seemingly need languishing near the bottom of the second tier of English football.With coaching experience at Leicester City and Derby County, odds of 6/1 (7.00) are favourable, and would likely tumble should the current frontrunner Aitor Karanka decide to take himself out of the ‘running’ for the hot seat at the Stadium of Light.
The current joint-caretaker Robbie Stockdale is just a bit further back at 7/1 (8.00), the former defender now 37, is a trusted hand at Sunderland as this is the second time he has been given the reigns of the caretaker position - the last time being back in 2015. If he stays in charge, then his first game will be away at Middlesbrough - a potentially massive ‘interview for the job’; another defeat would likely signal it may take a clean sweep of personal and a complete fresh start at the club.