Former Sunderland striker explains why Derek McInnes could be the perfect appointment

Stephen Elliott believes McInnes could be 'perfect' for the Black Cats
Stephen Elliott believes McInnes could be 'perfect' for the Black Cats
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Former Sunderland striker Stephen Elliott believes Derek McInnes could be the perfect appointment.

Martin Bain is set to meet McInnes to discuss personal terms after Aberdeen 'reluctantly' agreed to give the Black Cats permission.

Elliott, who spent two years in the Scottish top tier at Hearts, says no player has 'anything negative' to say about McInnes and believes his style of play could be a perfect match for the Sunderland faithful.

Writing for, Elliott said: "Watching Aberdeen over the past few years, they seemed to stifle their opponents which resulted in them dominating more times than not.

"This gave them the opportunity to play to their strengths and inflict their style of play on the opposition. The main source of their attacking play usually involved getting the ball out wide to their fast wingers who consistently delivered great balls into the box.

"They have been very ruthless in front of goal too, which is always a plus. This way of playing is something that I know Sunderland fans will enjoy, especially if you look at their recent success."

Elliott, who played alongside the likes of Julio Arca and Liam Lawrence during his time on Wearside, believes that emphasis on wing play will go down well with the Black Cats support.

Irishman Johnny Hayes turned into a talismanic presence under McInnes, leading the assists chart for the Scottish Premier League last season and adding nine goals. He is set to move to Celtic but McInnes has been linked with a swoop should he switch to Wearside.

He said: "When I was at the club, they always had exciting wingers who were fan favourites. Julio Arca and Carlos Edwards were always a top source for goals and assists from out wide.

"Even If you look at the time of Niall Quinn and Kevin Phillips during the Peter Reid era, they always played that way with the likes of Nicky Summerbee and Allan Johnston on the wings supplying the ammunition back then.

"Speaking to some players who have played under McInnes, I've yet to come across anybody who has had a negative thing to say about him."

McInnes has also been praised by his former Aberdeen captain Ryan Jack.

Jack, who has recently completed a switch to join Pedro Caixinha at Rangers, has attributed the Dons boss with turning him into one of the league's most highly rated midfielders.

He said: "He said to me straight away he saw me as a midfielder and that’s where he wanted me to progress. For me, he’s been brilliant and obviously he gave me the captaincy.

"He made me grow as a player and as an individual."

Jack added that he had 'no doubt' McInnes would consider any move that was 'right for him'.