Michael Gray would rather see Ally McCoist-Peter Reid partnership than Barnsley boss at Sunderland

Former Sunderland defender Michael Gray and now Radio pundit, looks on before the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James' Park on August 17,...

All three candidates have either managed or played for Sunderland before.

Former Sunderland defender Michael Gray and now Radio pundit, looks on before the Barclays Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester City at St James' Park on August 17,...

Michael Gray would rather see an Ally McCoist-Peter Reid partnership than Barnsley's Paul Heckingbottom in charge of Sunderland.

Both possibilities have been mooted this week - a fortnight since Simon Grayson's sacking at the Stadium of Light.

But while Gray would not be averse to the appointment of Heckingbottom - once his Sunderland understudy - the 43-year-old told Talksport this morning (Tuesday) he'd prefer a more experienced candidate.

Paul Heckingbottom manager of Barnsley looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Barnsley at Bramall Lane on August 19, 2017 in Sheffield, England.

"Paul Heckingbottom is doing a great job at Barnsley on a shoestring," said Gray. "He’s got this philosophy at the football club where they don’t sign players over the age of 24, so is that the route that Sunderland are going to go in? Well if they are then, you know, why not give somebody like that an opportunity?

"But I still think it’s there for an experienced head, somebody like Ally and I’ve mentioned Peter Reid on numerous occasions. It’s a decent partnership, that."

Rangers manger Ally McCoist during the Scottish Championship League Match between Rangers and Dumbarton, at Ibrox Stadium on August 23, 2014 Glasgow, Scotland.

Though McCoist is 15 years' Heckingbottom's senior, the Scot has little more than a year's more experience in management.

Nevertheless, the 55-year-old led Rangers to back-to-back promotions in that time, and could benefit from the assistance of someone like Reid - the former Sunderland boss whose career in management spans three decades.

Heckingbottom initially took charge of Barnsley on a caretaker basis in February 2016, but has already won one promotion and a Football League Trophy as well as having established his boyhood club as a Championship side once more.

Who would you rather see in charge of Sunderland?

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch