Thursday 18 October 2018

Harry Redknapp does not distance himself from Sunderland job

Harry Redknapp manager of Birmingham City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers at St Andrews (stadium) on August 15, 2017 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)
Harry Redknapp manager of Birmingham City during the Sky Bet Championship match between Birmingham City and Bolton Wanderers at St Andrews (stadium) on August 15, 2017 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)

Damian Spellman

Harry Redknapp has hinted he could be interested in the vacant Sunderland job as chief executive Martin Bain assesses his options after a bruising start to the Sky Bet Championship campaign.

Bain dispensed with the services of Simon Grayson on Tuesday night after only 15 league games and is currently engaged in the process of identifying potential successors before making his move.

The international break which follows Sunday's derby trip to Middlesbrough, for which Billy McKinlay and Robbie Stockdale will be in caretaker charge, will give the club time to make a decision.

However, with the bookmakers' odds on Grayson's replacement prompting a fever of speculation, former West Ham, Southampton and Tottenham boss Redknapp did not distance himself from the possibility.

Asked about the link, Redknapp told talkSPORT: "It's the first I've heard of it. I've never spoken to anybody.

"I am getting bored though, I must admit. Sandra is getting more bored of me, more importantly!

"Sunderland is a great club with great tradition. It shouldn't be where it is at the moment. It is another club that should be doing a lot better."

Redknapp's comments came a day after South Shields-born Sunderland fan Phil Brown, currently in charge at League One Southend, described the Stadium of Light hot-seat as his "dream job", while Shrewsbury's Paul Hurst has also been touted as a candidate.

Barnsley's Paul Heckingbottom, who spent four years on Wearside as a young player, but never made a senior appearance, has admitted to being flattered by being mentioned, but like Redknapp and Hurst, insists he has had no contact.

Meanwhile, Derek McInnes, who rejected the chance to take over from David Moyes during the summer, has re-affirmed his commitment to current employers Aberdeen.

Former manager Peter Reid and ex-striker Kevin Phillips attracted the most support in a fan poll carried out by the Sunderland Echo, while former Boro boss Aitor Karanka and veteran Black Cats defender John O'Shea figure prominently in the betting.

It is understood Bain is looking for experience as he attempts to arrest an alarming slide which saw the club slip out of the Premier League at the end of last season and has left it camped in the bottom three in the Championship.

Meanwhile, Grayson has expressed his disappointment at his exit from Wearside after barely four months in charge.

In a statement released through the League Managers' Association, Grayson said: "I would like to take this opportunity to express my thanks to the club and all the fans, players and staff at the club's training ground and the Stadium of Light.

"Sunderland AFC is a huge football club and whilst I am very disappointed not to be continuing as its manager, I hope that the club will stabilise and return the success and first-class football that the supporters and people of Sunderland deserve.

"I would like to wish everyone associated with Sunderland AFC all the very best for the future."

Press Association

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