Kevin Ball up for No 2 role but only for the right man

Caretaker boss Kevin Ball says he would be open to the possibility of becoming Sunderland’s assistant manager, but only if it was the right fit

Kevin Ball, Sunderland's caretaker manager
Kevin Ball, Sunderland's caretaker manager

Having already stated his interest in being considered among the candidates for the top job, the club favourite is not ruling out the prospect of taking a No 2 position as the club continue their search for Paolo Di Canio’s permanent successor.

Ball, who again takes charge for tomorrow’s visit of Liverpool, said when asked if he would consider an assistant’s role: “That is a difficult question to answer because firstly, who would the manager be, and secondly, what would his philosophy be?

“You can’t force people on people, and it has got to be someone they would be comfortable working with.

“There would be no point in the club saying you have got to work with him or him if you didn’t see eye to eye. If the club did say that, I would probably sit down with them, but it is a really difficult question to answer.”

Having delivered a positive injury update on Steven Fletcher, whose injury is only expected to keep him out for four to six weeks, Ball reiterated his desire to be among the names in the pot for the vacant manager’s position.

“In terms of whether or not I would like the job, the best way to put it is that I would like to be considered,” said the under-21s coach, in his second spell as caretaker boss after fulfilling the same role back in 2006 following Mick McCarthy’s dismissal. “Anybody who is anybody would say the same, but if the club choose to go another way then that is absolutely their prerogative.

“I would hope they would explain to me why, and I would explain to them how I felt about it, but then they would have my full support before going on to resume a job that I really enjoy.”

Brushing aside the fall-out from Di Canio’s regime and subsequent departure, he said: “I have tried to put to one side what has gone on before, because that is not my remit. I took the midweek game against Peterborough, I will be there again for Liverpool and do the same going forward until such time as I am told otherwise.

“I really haven’t had the chance to sit down with people and see how long it will be for. You do speak to people in passing, but at this moment in time I can’t say I am any further forward than I was the other night.”

Slotting into the role without too much fuss, Ball said: “It has been a busy week, and you enjoy that. There are always going to be bits you think are a pain in the back-side, but that’s life, isn’t it?

“You might have 10 minutes where you get the chance to sit down and go ‘right, what has just happened?’

“But I enjoy my football, I enjoy my coaching and what I do with the under-21s.

“It is not like I have come in from the wilderness. I was already doing a very similar job.”

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