Derby coach Kevin Phillips among the former Sunderland players who could replace Simon Grayson as manager.

Simon Grayson looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Brentford and Sunderland at Griffin Park on October 21, 2017 in Brentford, England.

Sunderland are searching for yet another new manager after Simon Grayson was sacked following the 3-3 draw at home to bottom-placed Bolton Wanderers in the Championship.

There are several names being linked with the vacant position at the Stadium of Light and a few will be very familiar, with three former Black Cats players in the running – according to Skybet.

Jimmy Montgomery, ex Sunderland goalkeeper (L) and Kevin Ball, Sunderland professional development coach (C), are seen in the stands during the Premier League match against Hull City.

Kevin Ball

Twice in caretaker charge at the club, former captain Ball could well be drafted into the role again for the weekend’s trip to Middlesbrough.

Currently a coach and a player for nine years, the 52-year-old would certainly be a popular appointment among the fans although his lack of experience could be a concern.

John O’Shea of Sunderland looks on before the Carabao Cup First Round match against Bury.

John O’Shea

OK, not technically an ‘ex-player’ with the O’Shea still on the books, now aged 36 the defender is surely looking to the next step in his career.

Former boss David Moyes suggested the Republic of Ireland international would be a good coach, although going straight into management might be a bit of an ask.

Kevin Phillips

Sunderland’s fifth highest scorer of all time, Phillips has been working as a coach since his retirement in 2014 at Leicester City and now Derby County – where he is assistant to Gary Rowett.

When Moyes was sacked back in May the former striker was among the favourites to succeed the Scot, before Grayson was appointed, and told the Chronicle at the time: “I would love to come back to Sunderland as manager one day.”