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Paul Cook is under consideration for the Sunderland job, while ex-Black Cats midfielder Stefan Schwarz could return to the Stadium of Light to take on the director of football role, as reported by Northern Echo.

What felt like a 374th 1-1 draw since the start of last season was a fitting final straw for Phil Parkinson.

Sunderland appeared to have discovered a much-needed ruthless streak during an impressive start to 2020/21. But that was before a dismal run of two wins in nine games stalled their promotion hopes, with all of Parkinson’s progress unravelling in the blink of an eye.

7 YOUNGEST Professional Football Debuts Ever: Where Are They Now?

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The former Bolton boss was handed his P45 after a 1-1 draw with Fleetwood Town on Friday and, for the second time in 13 months, the Black Cats are searching for a new head coach.

And they could certainly do worse than Cook.

Few have a better record in the lower leagues than the gravel-voiced Scouser. 53-year-old Cook guided Wigan Athletic to the League One title in 2018, having also led Portsmouth and Chesterfield to promotion.

Cook was overlooked in favour of Parkinson last year but, according to the Echo, he still has plenty of fans within the Sunderland hierarchy.

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To many Sunderland fans, he would represent a far more sensible option than Gus Poyet, an associate of Juan Sartori and a Black Cats boss from 2013-15.

Poyet’s record post-Wearside is far from impressive and he has been without a job since an ill-fated spell at Bordeaux in 2018.

The Echo adds that former Black Cats midfielder Schwarz, who played 62 league games for the club around the turn of the century, is in contention to become the club’s new director of football.


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