Gus Poyet has declared his interest in the Sunderland vacancy after it emerged contact has been made with the former Brighton boss over succeeding Paolo Di Canio.
As Kevin Ball’s caretaker spell got off to the perfect start with a comfortable defeat of Peterborough, Poyet has positioned himself as an early front-runner in the race to succeed Di Canio.
His odds tumbled after it emerged he had pulled out of planned media appearances for fear of being asked about a job Roberto De Fanti has contacted him about.
However, Sunderland were insistent last night that,while feelers have been put out with certain candidates, they are prepared to take their time before deciding on who will be handed the task of rescuing a season which has started disastrously.
Roberto Di Matteo’s lukewarm response has all but ruled him out of the running but, despite Poyet’s enthusiasm, Ellis Short is prepared to bide his time with a vital appointment.
Chief executive Margaret Byrne revealed a fear of relegation had prompted Sunday’s dismissal.
Writing in the match programme she said: “We felt it was better to (part company) now as we ran the risk of being cut adrift a the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.”
Whoever the new boss is, The Journal understands he may be given good news about Steven Fletcher’s injury. The striker’s injured shoulder may be pinned rather than operated on, which would see his spell on the sidelines shortened dramatically.