Sam Allardyce hopes to name new Sunderland assistant in time for West Brom opener

Sam Allardyce and Neil McDonald (bottom right)
Sam Allardyce and Neil McDonald (bottom right)
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Sam Allardyce hopes to have the one and only immediate addition to his backroom team in place by the weekend.

Allardyce is in talks with three potential candidates to be his new assistant manager at the Stadium of Light, with one preferred option that he is waiting on.

Ex-Middlesbrough and Manchester United number two Steve Round is the latest name to be linked with the position, but former Sunderland manager Peter Reid is NOT in the frame, despite reports to the contrary.

Blackpool boss Neil McDonald - who was Allardyce’s assistant at West Ham - continues to be heavily linked too, although he would have to forego his own managerial ambitions with the League One outfit.

But Allardyce is not initially looking to make any other changes to Sunderland’s staff, with first-team coach Paul Bracewell and goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker remaining in place from Dick Advocaat’s reign.

Allardyce told the Echo: “I hope there will be an appointment before the weekend, but it’s not definite.

“I will only be appointing an assistant and if the person I’m talking to gives me the answer ‘yes’ there won’t be any immediate other appointments in the backroom team.

“I want to work with everybody at the football club and see what they can achieve and how they do their jobs.

“Then I can adjust to my way of thinking in terms of taking the club forwards.

“If there’s any problems then I may have to address them.

“I sincerely hope there isn’t, but you never know. Sometimes you don’t get on or don’t match personality-wise and then you as a manager have to do something about that.

“At the moment, the only person I’ll be immediately appointing will be an assistant manager.

“But I’ll keep who that is to myself!”