Kevin Phillips open to potential backroom role as Sunderland manager search reaches crucial moment

Kevin Phillips has said that he would welcome the opportunity to be part of the new backroom staff at Sunderland.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 1:59 pm
Updated Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 11:56 am

Phillips threw his hat into the ring to take charge at the Stadium of Light, but the Black Cats hierarchy are set on appointing a manager with League One experience in a bid to secure promotion come May.

Phillips, who has extensive coaching experience, told talkSPORT: “Any player who is a coach or who wants to be a manager and has been a legend at the club somewhere, you have to try and get them involved.

“They know the identity of the club, they know the supporters, what it takes to live in the area.

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“Of course, I got offered the chance to be manager or play a part as assistant or coach, I’d certainly look at it.”

Phillips has been linked with a return as part of a potential partnership with Nigel Pearson, who he worked with at Leicester City.

Pearson, though, is not thought to be interested in the vacancy at this stage.

Phillips also said that he expected an announcement on the new manager to be made soon, possibly as early as Tuesday.

Phil Parkinson is the overwhelming favourite with the bookmakers to be named next Sunderland manager

That is unlikely, with talks ongoing, though Sunderland are nearing a decision and hope to have an appointment made in time for the challenging trip to Wycombe Wanderers on Saturday.

Gareth Ainsworth, manager at Adams Park, remains in contention for the vacancy.

He is also a target for Millwall, who are searching for a replacement for club legend Neil Harris.

Ainsworth is on a three-man shortlist with current caretaker Adam Barrett and Gary Rowett.

The overwhelming favourite with the bookmakers for the Sunderland job is Phil Parkinson, a contender due to his two promotions from League One with Colchester United and Bolton Wanderers.

He also led Bradford City to League Two promotion and a League one play-off semi final, as well as getting to the League Cup final while in the fourth tier.

Parkinson has been out of work since leaving his post at Bolton in August.