Sunderland to take time over appointing manager as shock new name emerges

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Sunderland AFC won't rush into appointing a new manager following the sacking of Simon Grayson.

Grayson was given his marching orders within minutes of last Tuesday's draw with Bolton Wanderers, with joint caretakers Robbie Stockdale and Billy McKinlay taking temporary charge.

Nathan Jones

Nathan Jones

Chief executive Martin Bain is leading the search for a new manager and the club is understood to favour an experienced boss - but Luton Town manager Nathan Jones is the latest name linked with the job.

Highly-rated Jones, 44, is enjoying a successful season at League Two Luton with the Hatters third, just two points off top spot.

The Echo understands there has been interest in ambitious Jones from other clubs over the past 12-months, which led Luton to tie him down to a long-term deal.

Jones played for Southend United, Brighton & Hove Albion and Yeovil Town during his playing days and worked as first team coach and assistant manager at Brighton under Chris Hughton before landing the Luton job in January 2016.

Robbie Stockdale is in joint caretaker charge following Simon Grayson's sacking.

Robbie Stockdale is in joint caretaker charge following Simon Grayson's sacking.

The Echo understands Sunderland will be taking their time over a decision on the new manager.

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Sunderland, without a game this weekend due to the international break, are bottom of the Championship after 16 games and are not in action again until they face Millwall at the Stadium of Light a week Saturday.

Sunderland are searching for their ninth manager in six years and Ally McCoist is a leading contender.

McCoist has always been among the early contenders to replace Grayson and he was keen on the role in the summer.

Former Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka has been high in the odds and the Echo understands he would listen to what Sunderland had to say if approached.

Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom and Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst have also been linked along with South Shields-born Phil Brown, who declared it would be a dream to land the SAFC job.

Stockdale and McKinlay took charge of Sunderland for the Tees-Wear derby defeat and will continue to lead training at the Academy of Light until an appointment is made.

Stockdale says he will back whatever decision taken by the club.

When asked whether he expected to be in charge for the visit of Millwall, Stockdale said: "The sole focus of myself and Billy was this game [Middlesbrough].

"Obviously it buys the club a little bit of time to assess what they want to do. Whatever they decide to do, we will back it."

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