MARTIN BAIN will prioritise experience as he looks to appoint Sunderland’s new manager, with boyhood Black Cats fan Phil Brown having become the first candidate to publicly confirm his desire to take over at the Stadium of Light.

Robbie Stockdale and Billy McKinlay have been installed as joint caretakers in the wake of Simon Grayson’s dismissal and will take charge of Sunday’s Tees-Wear derby with Middlesbrough.

The pair were already on the Black Cats’ coaching staff, and will be given an opportunity to stake a claim for the manager’s job on a long-term basis.

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However, with a two-week international break following Sunderland’s trip to the Riverside, Bain is keen to use the next fortnight to assess all his options as he looks to guide his club away from the Championship relegation zone.

The Scotsman knows he is under pressure to deliver a successful candidate following the disappointing performance of both Grayson and his predecessor, David Moyes, and is understood to regard Sunderland’s current position as requiring the input of an experienced boss.

While there is expected to be interest from a clutch of young coaches hoping to get their first taste of life in the Championship, Bain would prefer to recruit someone with previous experience of either the Premier League or second tier.

That would reduce the likelihood of Kevin Phillips being appointed as manager, but could enhance the prospects of the likes of Aitor Karanka, Nigel Pearson and Paul Lambert who all figure prominently in the bookmakers’ markets.

Karanka led Middlesbrough to promotion from the Championship during his time on Teesside, and while the Spaniard has rebuffed interest from both Birmingham City and Alaves in the last few months, he remains keen to return to management. Whether he views Sunderland as an attractive proposition, however, remains to be seen.

Peter Reid is known to be willing to return to his former position as Sunderland boss, although the 61-year-old is not believed to figure prominently in discussions at this stage. Having been turned down by Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes in the summer, Bain will not be making a second approach to his fellow Scot.

Brown became the first person to publicly declare his candidature yesterday, describing the managerial role at Sunderland as his “dream job” even though he is currently contracted to League One side Southend United.

South Shields-born Brown, who has previously managed at Derby County, Hull City and Preston, grew up as a childhood Sunderland fan, and while some commentators have described the vacant position on Wearside as a poisoned chalice, he regards it as one of the most desirable jobs in football.

“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 has guided Southend to a mid-table position in League One, but with his contract at Roots Hall due to expire at the end of the season, 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. “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.”

Further details have emerged about Grayson’s dismissal, which was enacted by Sunderland officials within around five minutes of the final whistle of Tuesday’s game.

Grayson had not even had a chance to enter the dressing room to speak to his players when he was taken to one side and told that his services were no longer required.

He then went into the dressing room to discuss the 3-3 draw with his team, at which point he told his players he had been sacked.

Sunderland then confirmed the developments on their official website, before a statement was relayed to the press who were waiting in the press room.

Grayson signed a three-year contract when he was appointed in the summer, but is only understood to be due one year of his salary as a compensation payment. However, given that Sunderland had to pay around £600,000 in compensation to Preston in order to appoint him, the club will still have spent more than £1m on a manager who only took charge of 15 league matches.