Roberto Di Matteo and Gus Poyet have reservations over replacing Paolo Di Canio at Sunderland - potentially opening the door to Steve McClaren appointment

The former Chelsea duo are reluctant to take the high-risk role with the Black Cats currently bottom of the Premier League

The search for Paolo Di Canio’s replacement continues with Sunderland not expected to make an announcement before the weekend, and it has emerged that two of the leading candidates for the role are having serious reservations over taking the reins at the Stadium of Light.

Despite quickly becoming the bookmakers’ favourite, it is believed that Roberto Di Matteo is reluctant to take the job due to the risk involved, with the Black Cats currently propping up the Premier League table with just a solitary point and a disjointed squad after 14 new faces arrived in the summer.

Di Matteo is still being compensated by his former club Chelsea after being dismissed in the winter of 2012, and he is understood to be wary over taking the role on Wearside unless it offers an opportunity for success.

The Italian played for the Blues alongside another name linked with the role in Gus Poyet, although he is said to be unsure over the role due to director of football Roberto De Fanti’s significant influence over player recruitment. Poyet is also still locked in a legal dispute with his former club Brighton and Hove Albion, after he was sacked in the summer following the Seagulls play-off defeat to rivals Crystal Palace in which he launched a strong attack on the club’s board.

The Uruguayan was also involved in a well-publicised incident to do with the state of the away changing rooms when the Eagles arrived for the second-leg of the play-off semi-final, in which he sent out a club-wide email to try and identify the culprit. Poyet was then famously relieved of his duties when he was live on TV as part of the BBC’s coverage of the Confederations Cup.

Di Canio was sacked on Sunday night following the 3-0 defeat to West Brom a day earlier, while he was also involved in a training ground bust-up with certain members of the squad. After telling them if they did not feel happy with the Italian in charge that they should complain to the board, a selection of players did exactly that and Di Canio was on his way out of the Stadium of Light after just 13 games in charge.

Former boss Steve Bruce criticised Di Canio’s outdated approached, claiming: "You cannot manage in the Premier League these days through a fear factor. You have got to be able to manage individuals.

"Man management has become more relevant in my experience than coaching. Once you get yourself in the Premier League, they are all good players and you have got to find a way of getting the best out of them. It's never been my style to criticise anyone in public but I'm disappointed for Paolo. He's a character. A manager's lost his job. It's a lonely place. I feel sorry for any manager in that position. I've gone through it and it's not nice."

Should both Di Matteo and Poyet turn down the opportunity, Steve McClaren appears to be the next in-line to takeover, with the former England boss having been without a managerial position since leaving FC Twente in 2012, although he has been working on the Queens Park Rangers coaching staff under Harry Redknapp since July on a short-term deal.

Caretaker manager Kevin Ball will take charge of tonight’s Capital One Cup match against Peterborough, and is likely to also be in control when they face Liverpool on the weekend. The new man in charge will have a tough start to their reign, with matches against Manchester United, Swansea and the north-east derby against Newcastle to follow the visit of the Reds on Sunday.

Di Canio was sacked after just six months in charge Di Canio was sacked after just six months in charge  

News
Ian Thorpe had Rio 2016 in his sights
people
Sport
world cup 2014A history of the third-place play-offs
News
Tommy Ramone performing at The Old Waldorf Nightclub in 1978 in San Francisco, California.
peopleDrummer Tommy was last surviving member of seminal band
Life and Style
Swimsuit, £245, by Agent Provocateur
fashion

Diving in at the deep end is no excuse for shirking the style stakes

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Several male celebrities have confessed to being on a diet, including, from left to right, Hugh Grant, Benedict Cumberbatch and Ryan Reynolds
life...and the weight loss industry is rubbing its hands in glee
Sport
The Mexico chief finally lets rip as his emotions get the better of him
world cup 2014
Voices
Spectators photograph the Tour de France riders as they make their way through the Yorkshire countryside
voicesHoward Jacobson: Line the streets for a cycling race? You might just as well watch a swarm of wasps
Life and Style
lifeHere's one answer to an inquisitive Reddit user's question
News
peopleDave Legeno, the actor who played werewolf Fenrir Greyback in the Harry Potter films, has died
Arts and Entertainment
'Eminem's recovery from substance abuse has made him a more potent performer, with physical charisma and energy he never had before'
arts + entsReview: Wembley Stadium ***
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice