Paul Heckingbottom in pole position but Sunderland still to speak to manager candidates

Martin Bain
Martin Bain

Sunderland are still waiting to speak to all the candidates for the vacant manager's job - two weeks after Simon Grayson was sacked.

Chief executive Martin Bain is determined not to rush into an appointment, despite the Black Cats sitting bottom of the Championship.

Sunderland have had a fortnight to draw up a shortlist and speak to interested parties, as they look to make an appointment before Saturday's game with Millwall.

Barnsley boss Paul Heckingbottom is on the shortlist, and has moved into pole position after his odds were slashed this morning.

However, sources insist that Sunderland have other candidates still to speak to, despite already holding some interviews in Manchester and Leeds.

The potential availability of Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill may have clouded the situation, with the Edinburgh-based boss now fourth favourite for the post after just missing out on guiding his country to the World Cup finals.

Heckingbottom is the bookies' favourite, ahead of Aitor Karanka and Ally McCoist.

Caretaker boss Robbie Stockdale took training at the Academy of Light yesterday and is set to lead the side against Millwall at the Stadium of Light as things stand.