Kevin Phillips: I want Sunderland job – but not yet

Kevin Phillips was at Leicester last season
Kevin Phillips was at Leicester last season
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Kevin Phillips says the vacant post of Sunderland head coach has come way too soon in his coaching career for him to think of applying for it.

But he says that he would love one day to have a role in managing the club that first launched him on the road to fame and fortune.

Kevin Phillips

Kevin Phillips

“I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I would one day love to manage Sunderland, or be part of a management team at the club,” he said.

“That would be a dream.

“And you never know what might happen one day further down the road because so much you don’t expect tends to happen in football.

“If I was ever even considered for the job it would mean that my coaching career had gone well.

I’ve never made any secret of the fact that I would one day love to manage Sunderland, or be part of a management team at the club.

“I’ve always been ambitious and done my best in anything I’ve done.

“But clearly I’m just starting out right now and there’s a long road ahead and I’m just trying to build my experience and develop my coaching skills.

Phillips would love to have the success as a coach that he enjoyed as a player.

He scored 250 league goals – almost half of them for Sunderland – in a playing career spanning 20 years before hanging up his boots a few months short of his 41st birthday.

And he has made a successful start to coaching after being persuaded by Nigel Pearson to take up the role of strikers’ coach at the King Power Stadium last summer.

Phillips quickly made a name for himself in his new tracksuit duties, with his reputation only enhanced by Leicester’s Great Escape from seeming certain relegation last season.

When Pearson was sacked by Leicester this summer, new boss Claudio Ranieri retained Phillips’ services.

But Derby County’s new coach Paul Clement came calling and last month Superkev moved to Pride Park as Clement’s assistant.

Phillips added: “It’s a great move for me.

“I’ll always be grateful to Nigel and to Leicester City for giving me an opportunity to move into coaching.

“But the Derby County move was to good a chance to turn down.

“I’ve got a job to do at Derby County and I’m loving it.

“It’s a wonderful club with wonderful facilities and a clear vision of what it wants to do and it is being run right.

“It’s early days yet but so far so good in the league and I would love to help the club get promoted and have the Derby v Sunderland game be a Premier League fixture again next season.”

That would obviously be dependent not only on Derby getting promotion, but Sunderland performing another rescue act and moving away from the top flight’s relegation zone.

With just three points from their first eight games, and already five points from safety, it looks like another season of struggle.

But Phillips is keen to stress that Sunderland are facing Mission:Difficult, rather than Mission: Impossible – and he has the statistics from last season to back up his belief.

“At Leicester last season we went into April with just FOUR league wins all season,” he recalled.

“That’s when it feels like impossible!

“But we never gave up, we kept our nerve and we got out it.

“Sunderland can easily do the same and remember we’re just eight games in right now, there’s a long, long way to go and the right person can do it