A Black Cats fanzine chief has spoken of his concern as SAFC manager Sam Allardyce continues to be linked with the England job.
Allardyce is believed to have flown back to the UK from Sunderland’s pre-season training camp in Austria as he looks to make the club’s first breakthrough transfer of the summer.
But rumours persist that the Football Association have him on a shortlist of names they want to interview to succeed former boss Roy Hodgson, who resigned immediately after the Three Lions lost 2-1 to Iceland in the round of 16 at Euro 2016 last month.
Paul Dobson, part of the editorial team at A Love Supreme Fanzine, whose office is just yards from the Stadium of Light, told the Echo: “I’m quite worried and I know a lot of other fans are.
“You can understand from Sam’s point of view why he would want the chance to manage his country, but as a Sunderland fan I just hope like so many others the club has got under his skin.
“Sam took a big chance joining us but it worked and I hope he stays.
“I think he can really take the club places as he’s had us playing with a bit of style and identity since he came in.
“Maybe he’s still a bit miffed with the FA because he couldn’t do his Powerpoint presentation when he was interviewed for it 10 years ago.”
Allardyce was appointed at the beginning of October with the Wearsiders mired in the bottom three.
But a hugely improved second half of the season saw the team finish 17th and secure Premier League status for another year.
Paul added that should Allardyce take on the England job, SAFC owner Ellis Short and new chief executive Martin Bain would have to move quickly to find a replacement in time for the start of the 2016/17 season next month.
“You don’t get many characters in football bigger than Sam and he’d be hard to replace,” said Paul.
“It’s a difficult one thinking of who we could bring in but maybe David Moyes would be a good choice because of what he did at Everton.
“The rest, whether it’s a foreign coach or someone younger like Ryan Giggs, they are untried and untested.
“We had Roy Keane here for his first job, but I think we got the best of him considering what else he has done.
“We need to look for experience but there aren’t that many who fit the bill.”