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Former boss Steve Bruce criticised Di Canio’s outdated approached, claiming: "You cannot manage in the Premier League these days through a fear factor.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

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
News
Prince William and his wife Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge show their newly-born daughter, their second child, to the media outside the Lindo Wing at St Mary's Hospital in central London, on 2 May 2015.
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before