Neil McDonald insists it is his time to be a manager as the Blackpool boss ruled out being Sam Allardyce’s assistant at Sunderland.
Allardyce was appointed to the vacancy with the Black Cats last week having been without a job since leaving West Ham, where McDonald was his number two.
McDonald branched out on his own this summer by taking charge at Blackpool but, with Allardyce now back in the game and seeking an assistant in the north east, it had been suggested that the two could be reunited.
However, McDonald is keen to remain with the Seasiders, who he has now guided to three straight wins.
“I’ve had no links whatsoever,” he said at his Thursday morning press conference.
“I’m the Blackpool manager; I’ve got a brilliant relationship with Sam Allardyce, so you put two and two together and got five.
“It’s taken me a long time to become a number one after being at Carlisle and helping Sam and myself to better our reputations, which we have done over the past six years. This is my turn and I’m proud to be Blackpool manager.”
The 49-year-old was on Allardyce’s coaching staff at Bolton before becoming his right-hand man at both Blackburn and West Ham, but McDonald stressed that being a manager himself was always on his agenda after a short stint with Carlisle.
“It’s something I wanted to do,” he added.
“I’ve been a huge support to Sam over the last six years at Blackburn and West Ham but I think it’s my turn. I’ve worked hard to get my chance and I’m working hard at Blackpool to get things right on the pitch.”
Asked to unequivocally put the Sunderland suggestion to bed, he replied: “There’s been no contact, first of all, and I’m happy with what I’m doing.”