Exclusive: Ex-Barnsley and Hearts boss Daniel Stendel applies for Sunderland job with Gus Poyet return ruled out

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Ex-Barnsley and Hearts boss Daniel Stendel has applied for the Sunderland job, the Echo understands.

It has been another dramatic day on Wearside after Gus Poyet saw his odds plummet and one bookmaker suspend betting on him being named as Phil Parkinson's replacement.

But it later emerged that while Poyet was a strong candidate, he was ultimately not keen on managing in League One and there will be no emotional return to Wearside for Poyet.

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There has been strong interest in the Sunderland job and 46-year-old Stendel has applied, the Echo understands.

Daniel Stendel.Daniel Stendel.
Daniel Stendel.

A number of other managers have also publicly confirmed their interest in the role.

Out of work former Huddersfield boss Danny Cowley among them.

Speaking to the Southend Echo, Cowley - when asked if he’d be keen to take charge – said “Sure. Sunderland are a huge football club with a wonderful history. For whatever reason they find themselves in League One but we will just have to wait and see.”

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Cowley has been out of work since leaving Championship club Huddersfield Town in July.

He added: "We love football and of course we miss football.

“We’re enjoying some time off and it’s been a really good opportunity for us to go away and study."

Ex-Wigan Athletic boss Paul Cook, meanwhile, has also been speaking positively about Sunderland and the fans and he is known to be keen on the job too.

Cook said: “I do feel for Sunderland fans because what they have been through in the last five/six years is horrendous.

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“Relegations, even the documentaries, you know, the Sunderland ‘Til I Die, because unfortunately, we all know how those documentaries are ending.

“They’re losing play-offs at Wembley to late goals, they have had so much pain.

“And like a lot of big clubs, Sunderland fans are absolutely unbelievably strong good supporters.

“So I think any manager that goes in will know the rules quite quickly, you must deliver.”

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Poyet, who left Sunderland in 2015, had previously said he’d be open to a return one day.

Prior to Parkinson’s dismissal, he told the ‘Speaking Sunderland’ podcast: “Could I return? Yes, of course.”

But that won't be happening with Sunderland now looking elsewhere.

Stendel's first break in management came after was appointed head coach of Hannover 96 in 2016, finishing with a record of 17 wins, nine draws, and eight losses.

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In 2018 Stendel was appointed as manager of Barnsley, then in League One.

At the end of the 2018-19 season, Stendel lead Barnsley to League One promotion following a second-placed finish, while Sunderland slipped into the play-offs.

The following season in the Championship, Stendel was sacked as head coach following a run of 10 games without a win, sparking widespread criticism of the board.

Stendel then took charge at Scottish club Hearts in 2019.

During the coronavirus pandemic, Scottish football was put on hold indefinitely.

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To help Hearts during this period, Stendel refused to take any wage payments.

However, Hearts were bottom of the 2019–20 Scottish Premiership at the time the league was suspended and were subsequently relegated when the league was curtailed.

Stendel had a clause in his contract which meant that it was no longer in effect if Hearts were relegated from the Premiership, and the club appointed Robbie Neilson to replace him.

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