PHIL BROWN has described the vacant managerial position at Sunderland as his “dream job” despite the Black Cats’ ongoing struggles in the Championship relegation zone.

Sunderland are looking for a new permanent manager following the dismissal of Simon Grayson in the wake of last night’s 3-3 draw with Bolton Wanderers.

Robbie Stockdale and Billy McKinlay have been installed as joint caretaker managers ahead of this weekend’s Tees-Wear derby with Middlesbrough, but neither is understood to be under consideration for a permanent role.

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A number of commentators have questioned the appeal of the Sunderland job given that Grayson’s successor will be the club’s ninth permanent manager in the space of six years.

However, having grown up as a fan of the club, South Shields-born Brown insists it remains one of the most attractive jobs in British football.

Brown, who is currently the manager of League One side Southend United, boasts previous experience at Derby County, Hull City and Preston.

“Sunderland are my football club, and being the manager of Sunderland would be my dream job because of that,” said Brown. “I have supported Sunderland for more than 50 years and would go and watch them when I was a kid with a black, red and white scarf tied round my wrist like everyone seemed to do back then.

“I have fond memories of that time, and it’s a very big club. But for whatever reason, they’re going through a torrid time at the moment and it’s not very nice to see.”

Brown’s current contract is due to expire at the end of the season, and the 58-year-old is clearly keen to be considered for a move to the Stadium of Light.

“I was following the (Bolton) game while watching our FA Youth Cup game at MK Dons, and I did fear it was must-win for Simon,” he said, in an interview with the Southend Echo.

“It wasn’t nice to see him leave, but it’s definitely Sunderland which is my dream job and not Bolton despite my long association with them.”