Kevin Phillips says Sunderland job is a’ golden opportunity’

Garry Rowell presents Kevin Phillips with his award. Picture by FRANK REID
Garry Rowell presents Kevin Phillips with his award. Picture by FRANK REID

KEVIN Phillips insist the vacant post of Sunderland boss is a “golden opportunity” not a “poisoned chalice”.

The Black Cats’ legend says he has been amazed by the way the club has been portrayed as somehow unmanageable in the wake of Dick Advocaat’s departure last weekend.

What a job to take , one of the best in football

Kevin Phillips

And he is dismissive of claims Sunderland will struggle to find top quality candidates in the wake of Advocaat, Gus Poyet, Paolo Di Canio and Martin O’Neill all departing in quick succession.

“I’m not saying Sunderland doesn’t have it’s problems,” Phillips said.

“But blimey, what a wonderful job to take on - I think it’s one of the best in football.

“And I’m not just saying that because of my connection with the club.

“You only have to look at the size of its support, look at the Stadium of Light and the training facilities, which are world class and look at the potential of the club too if you could really get it buzzing again.

“For me, it has to be seen as a golden opportunity, I don’t agree with the view that it’s some sort of poisoned chalice.”

Sam Allardyce and Nigel Pearson are among the names mooted as potential successors to Advocaat.

And Phillips believes they will be among those leading a long list of possible replacements.

“I wouldn’t have a problem if Nigel Pearson got the job, having worked with him at Leicester City.

“He’s got a really strong personality and his man-management skills when Leicester City were in trouble last season were second to none.

“It was an amazing achievement to keep Leicester in the top flight when all seemed lost.

“But then I wouldn’t have a problem with Big Sam getting the job either because he’s got such a proven track record over the years of turning clubs around and keeping them in the Premier League.

“One thing that is for sure is that there will be no shortage of good managers to look at.

“There’s some interesting candidates out there and for all the talk about Sunderland’s problems right now, the club will have the pick of them.

“Plenty of people would jump at the chance of managing Sunderland and the club just has to make sure it chooses the best candidate for the long-term as well as the short-term.”