Sunderland announced they had found their replacement for Dick Advocaat last week, as they revealed that Sam Allardyce was the new head coach at the Stadium of Light.
The former West Ham manager has been out of work since leaving Upton Park at the end of last season and fans of The Black Cats will be hoping he can pull off one of his usual coups and take Sunderland to safety.
But who will assist him in the North East.
When Advocaat left the club his head coach Zeljko Petrovic went with him and that leaves a void in the coaching staff that Allardyce will be hoping to fill.
The obvious choice would be his long-term right-hand man Neil McDonald.
Unfortunately for Sunderland however McDonald is currently in full-time management, leading League One side Blackpool.
Now he has confirmed that is where he intends to stay. He told the Blackpool Gazette this morning:
“There’s been no contact from Sunderland.
“I’m happy to continue as Blackpool manager.”
It would appear then that Allardyce has decided to leave McDonald be in his current full management job - despite their working history at Bolton, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham.
Phil Brown has reportedly ruled himself out of contention as well so Allardyce will have to go back to the drawing board in his search for assistance.