Chief Sports Writer Scott Wilson assesses the candidature of some of the leading contenders to be Sunderland's new boss.


The Northern Echo: Daniel Stendel, right, has taken over as Barnsley manager   Picture: Barnsley FC

If Stewart Donald is looking for a manager with a proven track record of success in League One, Stendel could be his man. The German led Barnsley to automatic promotion last season despite operating on something of a shoestring budget, and is available following his dismissal from Oakwell earlier this week, with the Tykes in the Championship relegation zone.


The Northern Echo:

Allardyce enjoyed his time on Wearside, and his experience and organisational skills could be just what the Black Cats need as they look to win promotion. However, the former England boss was fairly dismissive when quizzed on the Sunderland job on talkSPORT. “I loved my time there, but I don’t think it’s right to go back,” he said.


The Northern Echo: Roy Keane

He wouldn’t, would he? Keane is still revered by a large number of Sunderland fans after leading the club to the Championship title during his time on Wearside. His appointment would certainly elicit a reaction from the Sunderland squad, but is he too explosive a personality to succeed in League One and would Donald consider working with him?


The Northern Echo: Birmingham City manager Gary Rowett during the Sky Bet Championship match at St Andrews, Birmingham. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Friday August 21, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Birmingham. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. EDITORIAL USE

Rowett established his managerial reputation during a firefighting role with Birmingham City, and came close to winning promotion from the Championship with Derby, only for the Rams to fall away. That resulted in him joining Stoke, but he struggled to reverse the Potters’ decline following their relegation from the top-flight. Nevertheless, he is regarded as an experienced pair of hands.


The Northern Echo: HEADING IN? Kevin Phillips is linked with being part of the new coaching staff at Wanderers

If Donald wants to reenergise a fan base that is growing weary of life in the third tier, he could do worse than turn to Phillips, one of the club’s most popular ever players. Phillips might not boast any frontline managerial experience, but he has worked extensively as a coach and has previously spoken of his desire to manage at the Stadium of Light.