Sunderland are growing increasingly frustrated at the wait to discover whether or not they will need to find a replacement for boss Sam Allardyce after his talks with the English Football Association.
Almost a week has passed since the 61-year-old held discussions with the FA over the England manager's job, which became vacant when Roy Hodgson stepped down after a disappointing Euro 2016 finals campaign in France.
However, the Black Cats are no closer to knowing if Allardyce is to be appointed as Hodgson's successor with the three-man selection panel - comprising FA technical director Dan Ashworth, chief executive Martin Glenn and vice-chairman David Gill - due to speak to a series of other potential candidates.
Sunderland were already annoyed that a supposedly private process had become all too public, and their mood has not been improved by the fact that it is still ongoing and seemingly likely to be so for some time yet with Bournemouth manager Eddie Howe, one of those also reportedly on the list along with Hull boss Steve Bruce and United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, out of the country until the weekend.
Allardyce, who has made no secret of his desire to manage his country one day, remains the bookmakers' favourite to get the job, but his impending departure or otherwise is not the only uncertainty on Wearside.
The former Bolton and West Ham boss, who held talks with the English FA after leaving the club's pre-season training camp in Austria, resumed training with his squad back on Wearside yesterday without a single new face among the playing staff.
He and the club's recruitment team have been working hard since the end of last season to identify and attract new signings, but the fact that it is by no means certain the manager will still be in place when the new campaign gets under way is not helping the situation, with some targets unwilling to commit themselves until they know what is happening.
In the meantime, contingency plans are being drawn up with David Moyes and Sean Dyche on Sunderland's wishlist.