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Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain insists the club will be taking its time before appointing a successor to David Moyes.
Bain says the recruitment process is “ongoing” at the Stadium of Light, but he is refusing to allow the club to be rushed into securing a new boss.
Bain has been charged with the task of identifying Moyes’ successor following his resignation in the wake of the club’s relegation from the Premier League and has enlisted former Scotland and Rangers boss Walter Smith as an advisor, with the pair having worked together during their time with the Glasgow club.
Aberdeen boss Derek McInnes is said by many to be near the top of Sunderland’s wanted list while ex-Rangers manager Alex McLeish has also been touted for the position.
Bain told the club’s official website: “The recruitment process is ongoing. Pre-season is an important period at any football club so naturally we are keen to conclude things as quickly as possible whilst being mindful of the need to make the right appointment.”
Sunderland have already been plotting their pre-season campaign, something they had begun while Moyes was still at the helm.
The Black Cats players are expected back for pre-season training on June 29 before departing to Austria for a training camp.
They will be back in time to take on Bury in a friendly at Gigg Lane on July 7. Ahead of their Championship opener, Sunderland are expected to confirm a home friendly to mark the 20th anniversary of the club’s move to the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland are 15.00 to win the Championship title next season.