Ellis Short will not be rushed into making a decision on the next Sunderland boss and may delay his call until at least the middle of next week.
That is despite Gus Poyet’s aggressive attempts to market his claims on the Black Cats role, which include behind-the-scenes briefings it is his job to lose and a public admission he is waiting “nervously”.
Poyet remains the favourite to land the role after winning a recommendation from Roberto De Fanti, the club’s Director of Football.
However, it has emerged Short is determined not to be rushed into a decision on the next manager after seeing Paolo Di Canio’s appointment quickly backfire.
The club are also interested in talking to Manchester United’s former first-team coach René Meulensteen, who has developed a fine reputation and is available after a short spell in charge of Anzhi in Russia.
Kevin Ball’s caretaker stint is also being observed with the board of the opinion his years of service to the Black Cats mean his claims should be thoroughly examined too.
However, Poyet has placed himself at the top of the shortlist both through canny maneouvering behind the scenes and also a CV which seems to fit the club’s wishlist.
He claimed on Wednesday he was merely “waiting nervously” for Sunderland to make the call tohim.
It remains to be seen whether his obvious desire to take the job will cause reservations with Short, who is not afraid of strong characters but may be looking for someone less confrontational after Di Canio’s ill-fated stint.
Poyet had told a Spanish radio station: “My opportunity to manage Sunderland is there. I am waiting nervously.
“Since the start of the season, I have dedicated myself to watching the games of teams which might call me if things were not going too well.”
What may count against Poyet is the fact he left Brighton in acrimonious circumstances and it is unclear what sort of recommendation he would get from the South Coast club.
Short is determined to make his next move the right one after taking the bold decision to terminate Di Canio’s contract on Sunday after a huge player revolt left the Sunderland boss staring into the abyss.
The players responded with a straightforward defeat of Peterborough on Tuesday but have a much more difficult task ahead of them on Sunday, when Ball will lead the team against Liverpool.
The caretaker boss is calling on his team to “impose” themselves against Brendan Rodgers’ men, who wil be smarting from a midweek defeat to Manchester United.
He said: “From Liverpool’s point of view, their objectives for the season are there for all to see.
“We know what to expect and it’s up to us to counteract that and impose ourselves on the game.
“I’ve always said to players – just give me 100% of what you can do. They will often surprise themselves with what they can achieve.
“The biggest thing is pushing yourself, then hopefully the game comes easier.”