Sunderland: Billy McKinlay & Robbie Stockdale in caretaker charge but experienced boss wanted

Billy McKinlay
Billy McKinlay was assistant to David Moyes at Real Sociedad and Sunderland

Sunderland are keen to appoint an experienced manager to replace Simon Grayson, whose 18-game tenure ended after Tuesday's draw with Bolton.

Billy McKinlay and Robbie Stockdale will take joint caretaker charge of the Championship strugglers for Sunday's local derby at Middlesbrough.

However, the club's 10th manager since 2008 is unlikely to be a novice.

Sunderland, who were relegated last term, want to make an appointment before Millwall visit on 18 November.

Grayson's departure - which came four months after his appointment - was announced 15 minutes after the 3-3 draw with bottom-of-the-table Bolton.

Under his command, Sunderland have recorded one league win and are 22nd in the Championship after 15 games.

McKinlay, 48, had an eight-day spell in charge of Watford in 2014 and joined Sunderland along with then-manager David Moyes last season.

Stockdale, 37, made 91 appearances for Sunday's opponents Middlesbrough, with whom he started his career, between 1997 and 2004.

The club has not won a match at home in 19 games, a run which extends back to December 2016 when they beat Watford 1-0.

Since Roy Keane's exit in December 2008, the Black Cats have had nine full-time managers.

Meanwhile, Grayson said that he "hopes the club will stabilise and return to the success and first-class football that the supporters and people of Sunderland deserve" in a statement released on Thursday.

"I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the club and all the fans, players and staff at the club's training ground and the Stadium of Light," he said.

"I would like to wish everyone associated with Sunderland AFC all the very best for the future."


Sunderland are hoping the new manager will "unite the fans" and ideally want the situation resolved as early as next week.

Alex McLeish is somebody who could do the job, having earned promotion to the Premier League with Birmingham City.

And another former Rangers boss, Ally McCoist, is another potential candidate given he is a former Sunderland striker and knows the club's chief executive, Martin Bain, from their Ibrox days.

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