Kevin Ball asks to be considered for Sunderland role following Capital One Cup victory over Peterborough

Gus Poyet is understood to be the prime target to replace Paolo Di Canio

Kevin Ball guided Sunderland into the Capital One Cup fourth round - and then asked to be considered as Paolo Di Canio's successor.

Ball, who was handed the title of interim head coach for Tuesday night's game and Sunday's Barclays Premier League clash with Liverpool following the Italian's sacking, admitted he would like the job during his post-match press conference.

He said: "Anybody who is anybody would like to be considered for it. In the sense of what I have done as a coach or a player and not only that, my qualifications I have gone out and got as a coach, I would like to be considered.

"But ultimately, that's the club's decision and I would go with that, whether it was me or someone else, they would have my full support."

Ball's comments came after former Brighton boss Gus Poyet leapt to the top of the bookmakers' odds with Sunderland understood to have made initial enquiries about a series of possible contenders.

But his cause will have been done little harm by the players he sent out on to the pitch in the first game since Di Canio's demise.

Summer signing Emanuele Giaccherini, who had been hauled off by the Italian at half-time in Saturday's 3-0 defeat at West Brom, fired the home side ahead from Lee Cattermole's 32nd-minute cross, and substitute Valentin Roberge sealed the win with a 73rd-minute header.

Ball will return to work on Wednesday morning to prepare his team for what is likely to be a significantly more difficult task when Brendan Rodgers' side heads for the Stadium of Light, and he will do so hoping he can continue to build a case to be installed on a permanent basis.

Whoever does get the job will face the task initially of ensuring Sunderland remain in the Premier League, something chief executive Margaret Byrne has claimed was in serious doubt under Di Canio.

Explaining the club's decision to part company with the 45-year-old after just 175 days, she wrote in her programme notes: "After Paolo saved us from relegation last season, we gave him an opportunity to take the club forward this season.

"When it became obvious it wasn't working, we had to take the decision to part company with him. We felt it was better to do this now as we ran the risk of being cut adrift at the bottom of the Barclays Premier League.

"We wish Paolo and his staff well for the future."

Meanwhile, Ball revealed the club is still awaiting news of the full extent of the shoulder injury striker Steve Fletcher suffered at the Hawthorns amid fears he could be sidelined for months.

He said: "They are just waiting for a real assessment to let us know. That's not to palm you off about it, that's the truth.

"We wish him the speediest of recoveries."

PA

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