Sunderland being ‘patient’ despite Keane having ‘strong backroom support’

News Desk
Sunderland linked Keane

Sunderland are willing to be “patient” in their search for a new manager amid reports linking Manchester United legend Roy Keane with the vacancy.

Keane was previously Sunderland’s manager between 2006 and 2008. He is said to be among several candidates being considered.

Owner Kyril Louis-Dreyfus and sporting director Kristjaan Speakman are not limiting their options. They are also understood to have spoken to Grant McCann and Alex Neil. Despite this, PA News Agency are reporting that Keane has ‘strong backroom support’ at Sunderland.

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Keane, who has not managed in his own right since leaving Ipswich in 2011, was giving nothing away as he carried out his television punditry duties this weekend, although fans at Saturday’s 2-1 home defeat by League One strugglers Doncaster would have left him in little doubt as to their feelings as they showed their support for the former Black Cats boss.

Speaking through club channels before the game, Speakman insisted he and Louis-Dreyfus would take the time they need to make the right appointment.

He said: “At the moment, we’re speaking to all the people within the shortlist, looking at the pros and cons, sitting down with the board and the executive team, and making a decision on our next step.

“I think the great thing is everyone is really calm and patient about it. Naturally, having made a change, we’ve made the change with the view to putting someone in that space in a fairly swift period of time. But it’s all about getting it right.”

Interim boss Mike Dodds took charge for Saturday’s game, which left Sunderland two points adrift of second-placed Wigan, but having played four more games, with Rotherham six points clear at the top.

The Black Cats, who sacked Johnson last weekend following a 6-0 drubbing at Bolton, are currently in their fourth season in the third tier following back-to-back relegations.