Jack Ross has spoken about his determination to bring success to Sunderland and the Scot wants to stay on Wearside even if the Black Cats miss out on promotion this season.
Sunderland are fourth in League One, four points adrift of the automatic promotion places with just three games to go.
The Black Cats host promotion rivals Portsmouth at the Stadium of Light on Saturday (KO 3pm) with no room for error if Sunderland are to break into the top two.
Ross' reputation in the game is growing and he is one of several names under consideration by the Scottish FA as they look to appoint a successor to the recently-departed Alex McLeish.
The Daily Record claimed that a six-man shortlist for the role was drawn-up, featuring Ross and five further candidates.
Kilmarnock's Steve Clarke, Aberdeen chief Derek McInnes, ex-Sunderland boss David Moyes, Under-21 coach Scot Gemmill and SFA performance director Malky Mackay are all reported to also be in the frame.
But the Sunderland boss has again distanced himself from those reports and says his focus is firmly on Sunderland.
Ross said: "I’m aware there’s a huge amount of speculation goes around with all managerial jobs now.
"But I’ve already spoken extensively about how much I enjoy the job here and how far I’ve got to go to have done the job properly.
"I would love to be the person taking this club forward next season, no matter what happens [in the final few weeks of campaign].
"I’ve enjoyed the job immensely so far. It’s been different, and there’s been lots of things along the way that I’ve had to adapt to and learn from, but I’ve said before how privileged I feel to be manager of this club.
"I don’t ever walk in here and not appreciate what I’ve got to work with, and the structure of the club I’m at. The longer I’ve been here, the more I’ve learned.
"Potential is probably the wrong word because the club has been in a much higher position not too long ago, so it’s not something that’s never been realised.
"But I think a desire to take the club back to a certain level will always be there for me until it happens. I would love to continue to get the opportunity to do that for as long as I can."