Sunderland’s Ball on Liverpool alert

Caretaker Manager Kevin Ball.
Caretaker Manager Kevin Ball.
Have your say

KEVIN BALL will wait until after tomorrow’s clash with Liverpool before seeking talks with Sunderland owner Ellis Short.

Caretaker boss Ball takes charge of managerless Sunderland’s bid to move off the Premier League basement tomorrow, with the Black Cats not expected to name a permanent successor to Paolo Di Canio until next week at the earliest.

It is understood that Gus Poyet remains very much the front-runner for the post and the former Brighton manager has made no secret of his desire to become Sunderland head coach.

The Black Cats are also thought to have held talks with former Manchester United coach Rene Meulensteen.

But Under-21 coach Ball is also eager to take charge of the club he has served for two decades, albeit the former Sunderland skipper insists he will bear no animosity if his credentials are overlooked.

After taking temporary control last Sunday following Di Canio’s dismissal, Ball’s thoughts have centred on Tuesday’s Capital One Cup tie with Peterborough and the visit of the Merseysiders.

But he will look to speak with Short next week - both to see whether he is likely to be in charge against Manchester United on Saturday, and to put forward his own case.

“The owner knows what I’m all about, the people here know what I’m all about,” said Ball.

“If the opportunity arose to speak with him (Short) then I would.

“But it’s difficult at the moment because I’m busy with training.

“I’ll wait and see, probably until after tomorrow, because that’s the most important thing on my mind.”

He added: “I’m in charge at the moment so I’ve got games that I can be judged on.

“I’m training with them from day to day so it’s a totally different concept from anyone on the outside.

“I’ve taken training as normal, dealt with people as normal and spoke to the players how I see fit.

“Ultimately, the decision will come from the club over who gets the job.

“Whether it comes to me or somebody else, I’d like to know why, if it doesn’t come to me, just for my own sake.

“If it does then fantastic, but then I get on with it.

“That’s their prerogative and they’ll have my full support.”

Ball insists the situation now is completely different to his previous stint as caretaker boss in 2006 when Sunderland were already heading to the Championship and the club was waiting until the completion of the Drumaville takeover to name a new manager.

But he doesn’t see inexperience as any barrier towards his first managerial position coming at the Stadium of Light after coaching at U18, U21, reserve and first-team level at Sunderland since hanging up his boots.

“It’s a totally different kettle of fish (to 2006). The club was in a different, transitional period then,” he added.

“The team itself was in an awful position and they probably already knew what they were going to do then. It bought them time until the end of the season.

“This time, as I said the other night, anyone whose anyone would want to be considered and I’m no different.

“Anybody would love to manage a football club of this stature, and I’m no different. This is a great club.

“I’ve done the academy, 21s, 18s and years ago I took the reserves. I’ve got my pro licence.

“It’s not like I haven’t done it.

“Inexperience for me doesn’t particularly come into it. I’m 48 and I’ve dealt with lots of issues over the years. I know how to structure training.

“If it’s to be me, it’s to be me, if not, then it’s not.

“That’s fine, I haven’t got a problem with that.

“That’s something I would have to accept and I would do.”