Sunderland AFC news: Dean Whitehead eyeing managerial role, bookies offer short odds on Wear-Tyne derby chances next season, Portsmouth mull-over structural change

Sunderland suffered a very minor blip in League One last weekend.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 5:05 pm

The Black Cats drew against promotion rivals Lincoln City on Saturday and face relegation strugglers Bristol Rovers at the Memorial Stadium this weekend.

Lee Johnson’s men will be aiming to make it 12 unbeaten in all competitions.

Indeed, Wednesday night’s win meant that the Black Cats have lost just once in their last 17 fixtures – including a first win at Wembley for 48-years against Tranmere Rovers.

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Dean Whitehead of Sunderland celebrates his goal during the Barclays Premiership match agains Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light on October 29, 2005.

As usual, however, there is still plenty of Sunderland talk and general League One gossip swirling around the web.

Here, we take you through the latest in our daily evening news round-up:

The short odds on a Wear-Tyne derby next season

Sunderland and Newcastle United could well end up facing each other in the Championship next season.

The Black Cats still are just five points off first place but have two games in hand over league-leaders Hull City and a game to come against the Tigers.

And Johnson’s side are unbeaten in their past 11 games in all competitions and have only lost once in their last 17

Sunderland also have promotion rivals Peterborough United, who occupy second place, to play in League One.

The Magpies, however, sit on the edge of the Premier League’s relegation zone and just two points ahead of 18th placed Fulham.

Indeed, Steve Bruce’s side hasn’t won in their last six outings and have only taken two points from a possible 18.

The form of both North East clubs has produced some interesting odds from SkyBet.

At the time of writing, Sunderland are priced at 4/9 to win promotion from League One, whilst Newcastle are 8/11 to be relegated to the Premier League.

If you back both of those scenarios on the same betting slip, you receive odds of 1.49/1.

That means if you lay a £1 on, you’ll get £2.49 back if both clubs end up playing in the Championship next season.

Former Black Cats man Dean Whitehead linked with managerial vacancy

Dean Whitehead emerged as a potential candidate for a vacancy at Cymru Premier side The New Saints.

The Abingdon-born former Sunderland player made 200 appearances whilst on Wearside between 2004 and 2009.

And the Shropshire Star reports that the 39-year-old ex-Soke City midfielder is the latest candidate to the linked with the role after the shock departure of Scott Ruscoe.

He had most recently been working as assistant manager to Sam Ricketts at League One club Shrewsbury Town.

However, the pair left New Meadow in November.

Whitehead has also gained experience as a coach to David Wagner at Huddersfield Town.

The Englishman has his UEFA A Licence and is currently studying for his Pro Licence with the Scottish Football Association.

Sunderland’s League One rivals eyeing structural change

Portsmouth are considering implementing a sporting director as they look to implement the infrastructure to drive the club forward.

That’s according to The Portsmouth News, sho state that a sporting director has been mooted a potentially important role to be filled, as Pompey look to cement a clear identity and blueprint of what they stand for.

Chief executive Mark Catlin explained the position is on the agenda and has no doubt an appointment would be given the green light by the club’s owners.

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