GUS POYET has dramatically ruled himself out of the running to be Sunderland’s new manager, citing a reluctance to drop back into League One as his primary reason for rejecting the possibility of a return to the Stadium of Light.

The Black Cats began life after Phil Parkinson in a disappointing manner last night, with Max Power’s 85th-minute header salvaging a 1-1 draw against Burton Albion.

However, the day’s main talking point arrived an hour or so before kick-off, with sources close to Poyet stating that the Uruguayan wanted to rule out any possibility of him taking charge of the Black Cats for a second time.

Poyet, who is close to prospective new majority shareholder Juan Sartori, had looked a strong favourite to succeed Parkinson earlier in the afternoon when most bookmakers stopped taking bets on him being appointed.

The Uruguayan had been a candidate from the moment Parkinson was dismissed on Sunday night, with Sunderland’s hierarchy understood to have been excited by the prospect of him returning to lead the Black Cats more than five-and-a-half years after leaving the club.

He was not the only candidate under consideration, however, and attention will now switch to recruiting an alternative as quickly as possible. Ideally, Sunderland’s owners would like to have a new manager in place ahead of Saturday’s home game with Wigan Athletic, although there is a chance Taylor could remain in charge after overseeing last night’s game.

Former Wigan boss Paul Cook remains in the running, along with ex-Lincoln boss Danny Cowley, who yesterday confirmed his interest in replacing Parkinson.

When asked whether he would be keen to take charge of Sunderland, Cowley said: “Sure. Sunderland are a huge football club with a wonderful history. For whatever reason, they find themselves in League One, but we will just have to wait and see.”

Nigel Pearson has also been mentioned as a possible candidate, and for all that last night’s result leaves Sunderland outside the play-off positions, Taylor is adamant managing the Black Cats remains one of the biggest jobs in English football.

“One hundred per cent it’s an appealing job,” said the caretaker boss. “This is a massive club, it’s a Premier League club. If Sunderland Football Club does not appeal to you as a player or as a manager, in terms of wanting to challenge yourself and have the pressures of a Premier League club on your shoulders, then there’s something wrong. It’s a huge club, and I’m sure it will attract a lot of people who will be interested. It’s just up to the people above to decide what the plan is.”