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Five leading candidates to take over from Martin O'Neill at Sunderland

Could a former Chelsea, Reading or Swindon Town boss be the answer. Or are two former Middlesbrough men the better option?

When Southampton chairman Nicola Cortese sacked Nigel Adkins earlier in the year it was greeted with shock. The Swiss businessman decided that it was time for a change to escape the relegation battle and was decisive with his decision.

Southampton are now 12th in the Premier League looking safer than Sunderland, Newcastle United and even Stoke.

Reading and Sunderland however have left it too late. If either team believed sacking their manager was the right course of action they should have done so in January or at least March.

In Sunderland’s case sacking Martin O’Neill at the Easter fixtures is a recipe for disaster.

While his decision not to bring in any full-backs in January was a mystery and deciding to drop Seb Larsson; perhaps one of the most deadly dead-ball specialists in the league for the United game seemed to be the final nail in the coffin.

Regardless Sunderland now need to appoint a manager who can revitalise The Black Cats season ahead of a difficult relegation run-in.

So who are five options for the role?

Brian McDermott

He was recently sacked as Reading manager and McDermott has a knack for producing breath-taking displays at the end of a season.

If he could transfer that typical Reading form to The Stadium of Light then he might just save the Wearside club.

Gareth Southgate

Previously at the helm on Teeside could he jump ship to the Wear?

He currently has a pretty cushy job as an ITV pundit so may not fancy the role but perhaps on a short-term deal something could be agreed.

Paolo Di Canio

Currently Di Canio is the bookies favourite and for the life of me I cannot think why.

If he spent as much time as he did courting controversy and belittling his own players he could be a sensational manager but somehow I can’t see that happening.

Certainly not the man to keep Sunderland in the Premier League.

Roberto Di Matteo

He performed one miracle at the end of last season can he do the same for The Mackems.

Steve McClaren

The former Boro boss has had a bizarre managerial career. From great success at Riverside and unprecedented heraldry with FC Twente Enschede to disappointment with England, Wolfsburg, Nottingham Forest and a second spell with Twente.

Would not be a popular choice

Who do you think will take over from Martin O’Neill?

image: © vagueonthehow

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