Kevin Ball reveals work behind the scenes to get right Sunderland manager

Kevin Ball at the Tesco Bank event yesterday.
Kevin Ball at the Tesco Bank event yesterday.
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Sunderland legend Kevin Ball says the club are working hard behind the scenes to ensure the next managerial appointment is the right one.

And he believes the Black Cats squad has more than enough quality to climb the table under the new boss.

Ball was the choice of many supporters to take the club forward following the departure of Simon Grayson but an external appointment is expected during the current international break.

Robbie Stockdale is currently cartaker manager alongside Billy McKinlay, with the 37-year-old confident that whoever arrives at the Stadium of Light has enough quality to get out of a relegation battle.

It is a sentiment echoed by Ball.

He said: “I think at this moment in time, you can understand the frustration of the fans and any club in the same situation, that’s part and parcel of it.

“Everyone wants to know who the new manager is going to be.

“All I can say there is an awful lot of hard work going on behind the scenes to make it happen.

“It has got to be the right person at the right time. Hopefully then the club can go forward on a positive footing.

“I’ve said it before, we’re a fantastic club. The club will have their criteria for the job, I’m sure they’ll look at every applicant they get, then it is up to them to decide who they want to take the club forward.

“Robbie Stockdale said it [enough quality in squad] at the weekend and I 100 per cent back that.

“When the new man comes in they’ll work with the squad and hopefully get them up the table as soon as possible.”

Ball was speaking at the launch of year two of the Tesco Bank Junior Players initiative, which gets primary school pupils involved in sport through coaching sessions led by the Foundation of Light, Newcastle United Foundation and the Newcastle Eagles Foundation.

Ball said: “Last year you had around 18,500 kids come through the Tesco Bank junior players initiative, this year they’re looking to go better than that.

“Anything that can incorporate young people in sport, whether it is the competitive side, the social side, interacting with other kids, it is vital.

“I look back to when I grew up, sport was a pivotal part of my life, whether it be football, cricket, basketball.

“I think the Eagles, Newcastle United, Sunderland football club, it encompasses everything in the region and that includes Middlesbrough, Hartlepool United, any sports club in the North East.

“It means so much to the community.”