THE domestic contingent on Dick Advocaat’s backroom team could have a longer-term role to play at Sunderland.
New head-coach Advocaat has so far been coy over whether he wants to remain at the Stadium of Light beyond his two-month contract, even if he achieves his objective of keeping Sunderland in the Premier League.
But it is near-certain that the 67-year-old will depart in the summer, along with his long-time assistant Bert van Lingen and first-team coach Zeljko Petrovic.
However, it is understood that there could be places in any future regime for ex-Sunderland midfielder Paul Bracewell and goalkeeping coach Adrian Tucker.
Sunderland are conscious that the dismissals of former managers Steve Bruce, Martin O’Neill, Paolo Di Canio and Gus Poyet have corresponded with the departures of their entire backroom teams.
Poyet’s staff of assistant manager Mauricio Taricco, coach Charlie Oatway, goalkeeping coach Andy Beasley and fitness coach Antonio Pintus all left the club along with the Uruguayan a fortnight ago.
The Black Cats are keen for greater continuity on the first-team staff and that could see both Bracewell and Tucker remain in place under Advocaat’s successor.
Bracewell has been working with Sunderland’s Under-18 and Under-21 squads for the past couple of years, and sporting director Lee Congerton was eager to have the former Black Cats assistant manager working alongside Advocaat.
And Congerton was equally behind the appointment of England Under-20 goalkeeping coach Tucker, who spent five years in the corresponding role at Swansea before leaving under Michael Laudrup’s stewardship in the summer of 2014.
Potential longer roles for both Tucker and Bracewell is an indication too of the manner of candidate Sunderland will ultimately look to replace Poyet with.
Real Madrid assistant Paul Clement is the leading contender for the role, if he decides to leave the Bernabeu this summer.
Clement knows Congerton from their days together at Chelsea and would be an ideal fit for Sunderland’s head coach / director of football system.
The same cannot be said of ex-Sunderland defender Sam Allardyce – who has always worked in a more orthodox managerial role – even if his contract expires at West Ham this summer.
– CHRIS YOUNG