Sunderland football chiefs are being urged to go back to British - as the hunt to replace departed supremo Dick Advocaat gets underway.
The Dutchman quit after just seven months in the Stadium of Light hotseat, leaving the club in the thick of the Premier League relegation fight and still searching for their first win of the season.
The 68-year-old replaced Gus Poyet in March when the Black Cats were just a point above the bottom three and guided the side to safety.
He decided to leave in the summer, but was persuaded to stay on after an outpouring of support from fans.
But he has now left his post eight games into the new campaign.
Legendary club goalkeeper Jimmy Montgomery, who helped Sunderland to FA Cup glory in 1973, hopes owner Ellis Short will appoint a new boss before the side’s next Premier League game against West Brom in two weeks’ time.
He says that relegation from the top-flight is ‘unthinkable’.
The 71-year-old said: “Dick obviously felt he had taken the club as far as he could.
“It is a matter now of looking at who can take the club forward and keep us in the division.
“Relegation is unthinkable.
“The performance was so good on Saturday, particularly in the first half, you wonder why they haven’t played like that more often.
The three names who could take on the job are Sam Allardyce, Sean Dyche and Nigel Pearson. They would all do a good job. But I do think we have to go British this time.
“It would be a nice time to come in as the manager would have an international break to get settled in.
“Then we have a game coming up against Newcastle.
“Beating them and making it six in a row would be brilliant.
“But our season can’t be just about staying up and beating Newcastle twice.”
Paul Dobson, assistant editor of club fanzine A Love Supreme, says continuity is now crucial.
Since Steve Bruce was sacked in November 2011, Martin O’Neill, Paolo di Canio, Gus Poyet and Advocaat have managed the Wearsiders.
Mr Dobson said; “I am disappointed he has gone. He seemed to be a genuine guy who had Sunderland playing as a team, even if it wasn’t always a particularly good one.
“I think he had made his mind up a few days ago. I’m disappointed the club didn’t get a young manager to work under him and learn from his wealth of experience in the summer – as they knew he would only be staying for a year at most.
“Sam Allardyce is experienced and available, you know exactly what you are going to get. Sean Dyche from Burnley would also be a good option.
“Personally, I would like to see us go for David Moyes. He was badly treated at Manchester United but did a steady if unspectacular job at Everton for a number of years.
“We need someone who can come in and do a solid job, steady the ship and give us the continuity that we need.”
Tom Lynn, a long-time contributor to the A Love Supreme fanzine, says Advocaat’s exit has left the struggling team in a ‘precarious’ position.
He said: “I’m disappointed if he has gone of his own accord, rather than being sacked, as he has left us in a precarious position.
“He has made it clear that he has been unhappy.
“He seems a good bloke but a lot of people have had concerns over his tactics.
“I think it was probably the right time for him to go.
“We need someone who has experience and who is available. I think Sam Allardyce fits that criteria.
“He has got a good pedigree.”