Stewart Donald will hand full transfer control to new Sunderland manager as pair remain in contention

Stewart Donald will hand full control of recruitment over to Sunderland's new manager, once they have been appointed.

Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 8:13 am
Updated Wednesday, 23rd May 2018, 8:16 am

The new Sunderland owner said on Monday that he hopes to have a new candidate in place within seven days, and has two preferred targets in mind.

There are other candidates in the frame, but St Mirren boss Jack Ross and Shrewsbury Town’s Paul Hurst remain prominent in the club’s thinking.

Could St Mirren boss Jack Ross become the new Sunderland manager?

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Ross has been offered a new deal by St Mirren and both are wanted by Ipswich Town, who are in the process of replacing Mick McCarthy and hope to confirm an appointment next week.

Ross, currently on holiday, is the overwhelming favourite to land the job at Portman Road.

Whoever arrives on Wearside will be expected to lead an hectic recruitment drive, with around 15 new players expected to arrive ahead of the new season.

Departed chief executive Martin Bain revamped the club’s scouting structure last year and promoted Neale McDermott to the role of Head of Recruitment.

He was part of a team, including Academy boss Jimmy Sinclair, drawing up transfer targets alongside then managerial duo Chris Coleman and Kit Symons.

The new boss will work in that framework, but Donald confirmed that he will have the ultimate say on all deals.

Donald said: “The manager will recruit the players, that will be his call.

“We have a recruitment team and there will still be a recruitment team who works with him, but there will be no interference from Charlie [Methven] or I.”

Sunderland’s owner hopes that the new manager will enact a culture change at the club.

A successful track record in League One is valued, but not essential.

Donald said: “It would be good if he’s been successful in lower leagues, that would be good.

“But it needs a cultural change, the standards have got to be really high when you go round the Academy of Light and I’ve gone in there.

“If you’re a young footballer, or any kind of footballer and you wander in there as a League One footballer, we’ve got to make sure people don’t think they’ve arrived and all their hard work is done.

“The standards that the football club should set, should be absolutely top drawer, it should be 100 per cent effort.

“They’ve got to get the culture, they’ve got to work hard, they’ve got to do everything right, and the manager has to set the tone for that.

“He cannot be somebody that will let them off with anything.

“If we want to win anything, especially now in League One, this will be the place where everybody, as soon as the fixtures are drawn out, when are we playing Sunderland.

“They will come up here and when we go there, it will be a big game.

“You are going to have to be strong and if you are going to be that, the manager has to set the tone so I am expecting to bring someone in who sets the standard right at the top and then make sure that the players understand what is expected of them, and get the right type of characters here.”