Ball: Make me Sunderland boss

Kevin Ball.
Kevin Ball.
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KEVIN BALL has restated his desire to become Sunderland’s new head coach.

And the caretaker boss says, if he does get the job full-time, he’s looking forward to planning for the longer term for Sunderland, rather than preparing game by game.

“A desire to manage is in me,” he admitted, when asked after Saturday’s defeat to Manchester United if he still hoped to succeed Paolo Di Canio.

“I’ve enjoyed the last few games, but it has been difficult because, when you are in the interim head coach role, you are caught in a bit of a quandary,” confessed Ball.

“There are things that you might want to bring in and introduce if you were in charge full-time, but when you have to concentrate on things game by game there’s only so much you can do.”

Ball, though, feels the fact the players have produced much to be proud of in his three games in charge – against Peterborough in the Capital One Cup, and Liverpool and Manchester United in the league – bodes well for the club, and for his job hopes.

“I feel as though the lads have improved in these last few games and I’ve let them know that,” he added.

“I think there were a load of positives to take out of the Man United game and we’ll look at them this week.

“We’d had two good games before the weekend and were pleased to make it a third because I think, although the final results have been disappointing in the league, no-one could argue they weren’t exciting, entertaining games to watch.

“The players are fighting for themselves right now and they need to do that. I demand that of them and I expect them to demand it of each other. So it was a good sign to see the disappointment in the dressing room afterwards.

“And I think you will see consistent performances from us over a period of time.

“We’re a new squad and we need some level of consistency, but I think the last three games have given us that.

“You look at the games we’ve been involved in and they’ve been great games.

“And I want us to continue plugging away at it.

“We need to show effort and commitment and do it right in training and away from the ground too and I feel as though we are seeing that happening.”

He added: “I know we need to get more points on the board.

“Of course I know that.

“But we have to focus on improving performances week by week in the knowledge the points will eventually come.”

H SUNDERLAND Under-21s look to continue their impressive start to the season away to Aston Villa tonight.

With Kevin Ball in interim charge of the first-team, Ged McNamee will take his side to Tamworth, in a switch from the scheduled venue at Hinckley.