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Phillips, McCarthy & the candidates to be the next Sunderland manager

11:00 GMT+3 05/05/2018
Chris Coleman Sunderland
Who will succeed Chris Coleman and lead the challenge to take the Black Cats back into the Championship at the first time of asking?

Sunderland are preparing for their final game in the Championship against league winners Wolves with Robbie Stockdale in temporary charge following Chris Coleman's sacking.

After last week's 2-1 defeat at Fulham ensured the Black Cats would finish bottom of the table and suffer a second successive relegation, Coleman was dismissed just over five months after being appointed.

Swiftly following on from Coleman's exit as manager, Ellis Short confirmed he had agreed to sell the club to an "international consortium of football investors", headed by Stewart Donald.

One of his first tasks will be to secure a replacement for Coleman and find a manager to spearhead an immediate promotion push.

With the Sunderland job having been a miserable one for much of the time in recent years, it will be fascinating to discover who puts their name forward and who will ultimately land the role.

Among the early names being mentioned is Kevin Philips, who was a hero at the Stadium of Light as a player and fans hope he would be a hero as a manager as well.

Black Cats supporters have been campaigning for Philips' appointment but he would represent a gamble due to his lack of experience.

The former Premier League Golden Boot winner is currently a coach at Derby County but he would be allowed to leave if Sunderland offered him the job.

Mick McCarthy is thought to be among the frontrunners following his recent departure from Ipswich. It is a post that McCarthy is familiar with as he managed on Wearside from 2003-2006, but he has not managed in the third tier of English football before.

One man who has managed in the third tier with great success is Chris Wilder. The current Sheffield United manager got the Blades up with over 100 points last season. Wilder has not hesitated to make it known how unhappy he is with the board at Bramall Lane in recent weeks saying:

"I want to go forward with this club but I can’t do it all on my own," Wilder told The Star. "If it stays the same I don’t think anybody would be surprised if I didn’t question where my career was going.

“One hundred per cent I want to stay, but, like anybody else, you’ve always got a decision if you don’t agree with what’s going on above you.

“I’ve had it before when I’ve been at a club and didn’t enjoy it. I stayed when I had a chance to get out. I won’t make that mistake again.”

If Wilder was to join Sunderland he would likely be an astute appointment given the success he has achieved during his career to date.

Michael Appleton has also been linked with the vacant Sunderland post, having achieved promotion from League Two with Oxford United as well as reaching two finals in what is currently called the Checkatrade Trophy.

The Sunderland job has been seen as a poisoned chalice in recent years, with multiple managers' reputations taking a hit after failing with the Black Cats but, with Short gone, now could be the perfect time for a manager to enhance his credibility by achieving promotion at the first time of asking.