Kevin Phillips tipped to joined Sunderland's League One promotion rivals

Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips has been linked with the managerial vacancy at Bristol Rovers - and did little to play down the speculation when quizzed on his interest.

Phillips has made no secret of his desire to enter the world of management, having previously coached at both Derby County and Stoke City, and revealed his interest in the Sunderland vacancy after the departure of Jack Ross.

But having been unsuccessful in his pursuit of the top job at the Stadium of Light, bookmakers are now tipping the 46-year-old as an outsider to succeed Graham Coughlan at the Gas.

And Phillips - speaking on talkSPORT - failed to shoot down the speculation.

Sunderland legend Kevin Phillips has been linked with the Bristol Rovers job

"I've never been shy in that," Phillips said of his desire to enter management.

"I was with Alan on talkSPORT when the Sunderland job was available and I put myself out there, of course I'd love a crack at it at some point.

“You're not one of the players' mates, as you are as a coach, because players tend to go to coaches and tell them stuff they don't generally tell the manager and it stays with the coach.

"Of course, if an opportunity for myself, having been a coach and assistant, it's something I'd love to have a crack at."

Meanwhile, the Black Cats have confirmed that they will hold a period of silence prior to their home game with Bolton Wanderers on December 26 as they continue a long-standing tradition of honouring former players and supporters who have sadly passed away.

A club statement read: “Sunderland AFC will continue the long-standing tradition of observing a period of silence at the last home game of the calendar year, in memory of supporters, former players and club officials who have passed away.

“The period of silence will take place just prior to kick-off as the Black Cats welcome Bolton Wanderers FC to the Stadium of Light on Boxing Day (Saturday 26 December, 3pm).

“Both clubs will come together to remember supporters who are no longer with us and pay tribute to former Black Cats stars who passed away in 2019.”