Next Sunderland AFC manager RECAP: Roy Keane latest as Cats owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus weighs up options

The January transfer window has closed, however, Sunderland are continuing their search for a new manager.

Thursday, 3rd February 2022, 5:16 pm

Sunderland owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus revealed yesterday that a search for Lee Johnson’s replacement had begun and that they had been ‘overwhelmed’ by interest in the role:

"We obviously don't have have too long to reflect and we need to get ready for the remaining 17 league games, that's the focus right now.

"Yesterday was the last day of the transfer window so we prioritised getting those last two signings that we made, but the process has definitely started since early this morning.

Sunderland's search for Lee Johnson's replacement continues

"We'll give it the time it takes to get the right candidate. We're working on it and speaking to many people. We've had huge interest from all over the world, every country to be honest.

"We were overwhelmed, and we'll now run a diligent process."

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Sunderland AFC manager search RECAP (February 3)

Last updated: Thursday, 03 February, 2022, 17:14

  • Roy Keane is being considered for Sunderland’s head coaching role in what would be a sensational return.
  • The Black Cats are speaking to multiple candidates following Lee Johnson’s sacking on Sunday.
  • Former Hull boss Grant McCann is another candidate being considered.
  • Mike Dodds is leading an interim management team ahead of Saturday’s game against Doncaster.
  • Sunderland are assessing the free agent market after failing to sign another centre-back on deadline day.

Thanks for joining us today

We’re signing off from today’s blog but will have any breaking news over on the SAFC section of the Echo website.

We’ll also be back tomorrow with live updates on Sunderland’s search for a new head coach.

See you soon.

More from Speakman on the transfer window

Speakman has also said Sunderland tried to sign another centre-back in the final days of the January transfer window and could still explore the free agent market.

He explained: “As soon as the transfer window finishes you are in pursuit of always trying to improve the group and the squad.

“We will always look at that free agency market because you always want to make sure there is nothing that you might have missed or someone who can add additional value.

“We are doing that now over sort of a three or four day period where we run that.”

Read more HERE

An update from Kristjaan Speakman

Sunderland’s Sporting Director has been speaking on the SAFC Unfiltered podcast about the club’s search for a new head coach.

He said: “The process is well under way.

“We have had a little bit of a delay because of the last 24 hours of the transfer window.

“That was really, really important because from an integrity perspective and what we are as a football club, what we didn’t want to do was to pursue a search process when we still had a person in situ, I think that’s just disrespectful to the person.

“We want to make sure those conversations are had and then we can get on with the fresh direction.

“We are well under way with that and that’s a search which is led by myself in conjunction with our executive team, so Steve Davison and Kyril, we have members of the board who are assisting with that.

“On top of that we have our football management team at the AOL who also integrate with that because the head coach has to work as part of that team.

“We have to ensure the connection and relationships between those people are going to be effective or you are just creating a problem further down the track.”

Read more HERE

Aiden McGeady on Roy Keane

Aiden McGeady has been speaking on Sky Sports about Roy Keane.

The winger said: “I played with Roy, I’ve known him for a long time. I played with him at Celtic, he was my coach at Ireland.

“He’s got a lot of fans and he’s still held in high regard here. It’s not my job to comment on speculation, but he would give the fans a lift.”

McGeady was also asked about the return of Jermain Defoe.

He said: “It’s a massive coup to bring Jermain back. He still knows where the goal is and you can see the lift that the whole club has got from him coming in. He’s been really good around the place and he’ll give the players a big lift as well.”

Other names in the frame

Former Hull boss Grant McCann is also considered a strong early candidate to take over from Lee Johnson.

Former Black Cats boss Mick McCarthy and Neil Warnock have made clear that they would be willing to take the job until the end of the season.

Our chief SAFC writer Phil Smith explains his understanding of the Roy Keane situation.

Read more HERE

Roy Keane - what we know

It emerged yesterday evening that Roy Keane is a candidate to become Sunderland’s next head coach.

The Echo understands there were tentative expressions of interest from Keane following Phil Parkinson’s departure from the club in late 2020, but talks did not progress.

Senior club sources insisted late on Wednesday that talks were ongoing with multiple candidates, and that no final decisions had been made.

Sunderland confirmed yesterday that Mike Dodds is leading an interim management team ahead of Saturday’s game against Doncaster Rovers.

Warnock’s Sunderland regret

Neil Warnock is believed to be interested in the vacant head coach’s role at Sunderland – and the former Middlesbrough boss has previously spoken about the time he nearly took charge at the Stadium of Light.

Warnock, 73, was offered the manager’s job on Wearside in 1992 while he was in charge of Notts County, but delayed his decision due to Sunderland’s FA Cup involvement.

Warnock said last year: “Probably my biggest regret, not Chelsea, I turned Chelsea down, it didn’t feel right Chelsea, the traffic, the motorway, working for Ken Bates, it didn’t feel right at that stage of my career.

“But I should have walked out at Notts County and gone to Sunderland. I just didn’t want to let the players down at Notts County, that’s probably my one disappointment.

“I like Bob Murray, I thought Sunderland was a fabulous club. My assistant Mick Jones was a mad Sunderland fan and that was probably the biggest regret I’ve had in my career not going there at the right time.”

Roy Keane on SAFC stint

Keane had a successful stint at the Stadium of Light in the mid-2000s as he steered the club away from Championship relegation danger before guiding Sunderland to an unlikely promotion back to the Premier League.

Survival was secured a season later and even though many fans would see his time on Wearside as a success, Keane told Gary Neville that he was still ‘agitated’ that he couldn’t deliver more:

“When I went into management, Sunderland were second bottom of the Championship but Sunderland was a great club for me

“So I go to Sunderland for example, we may as well start there. We get promoted, down to the players mind.

“The players done brilliant and I got good backing and good recruitment. We stay up in the Premier League.

“And I remember we stay up in the Premier League and I’m still kind of like I see managers now when they stay up and they get carried around the pitch.

“I remember in the dressing room and being a bit agitated that we could have done better. And the season we left we were averaging a point a game in the Premier League and we were in the quarter-final of the League Cup.”

Hello and welcome to today’s Sunderland AFC live blog.

It’s certainly never dull is it?

It emerged yesterday evening that Roy Keane is a candidate to become Sunderland’s next head coach, with Sunderland preparing to face Doncaster this weekend.

Stay tuned as we keep you up-to-date with the very latest Black Cats news as they look to appoint Lee Johnson’s successor.

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