TONY Pulis would be happy to drop down to the Championship as he seeks a return to management.
The Welshman was sacked by Stoke at the end of last season despite securing a sixth successive campaign in the top flight for a club he took to an FA Cup final and led into Europe.
Pulis was linked with the Sunderland vacancy but Gus Poyet is the hot favourite to take over from Paolo Di Canio.
And Pulis likes the idea of trying to build up another club in a similar way to the job he did over seven years in his second spell at Stoke.
He told talkSPORT: “I think Sunderland’s a great club and whoever gets the job, it’s a great job. I’m not so sure that would have suited me.
“I want to get back in and I want to get working again, but it’s got to be the right club. That’s very important for me. It doesn’t have to be a Premier League club. If it’s the right Championship club then I’ll do that.
“It’s been nice to build things. Everybody talks about what happened on the pitch at Stoke, and rightly so, but nobody talks about the improvement off the pitch as well.
“To build their own training ground, the millions that have been spent on the Britannia, they’ve got category A academy status - because of them staying in the Premier League there’s been enormous amounts of money that they’ve been able to invest in the football club.
“And the football club now is a completely different club to the one I started at.”
Pulis found himself under pressure from a section of fans last season for the style of football Stoke played and new boss Mark Hughes has earned praise for the changes he has made.
Criticism of Pulis from some Potters players, meanwhile, has prompted chairman Peter Coates to ban them talking about their former boss to the media.
Pulis admitted he emphasised the Potters’ reputation for direct, physical play to intimidate opponents.
And he knows that being so strongly associated with a particular style could be a negative now he is looking for another job.
Comparing his reputation to that of Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, Pulis said: “Psychologically, maybe to my detriment at times, I would actually build that up. And our record at the Britannia was absolutely fantastic.
“I think the biggest thing in sport and in building teams is actually looking at the team you’ve got, and then you can evolve the team as it goes along.
“A lot of people talk about how well Brendan did at Swansea, but he inherited a footballing team. Brendan had come from Reading and not been successful, he’d gone to Watford and not been successful, where he tried to implement things that didn’t work.
“We had to stay in the Premier League, so which is the best way of staying in the Premier League - you play to the strengths of your team.”