Reid rules out Sunderland return

Pa,Damian Spellman
Monday 08 December 2008 16:49

Sunderland will draw up a shortlist of candidates to replace Roy Keane later this week - but former boss Peter Reid will not be on it.

Reid, currently in charge of the Thailand national team, was quoted earlier today as saying he was ready to return to Wearside, where he spent seven largely successful years during the 1990s.

However, the 52-year-old moved to clarify his position after watching Thailand beat Laos 6-0 at the Suzuki Cup in Phuket.

"I said that in a certain amount of time I want go back to England," Reid said. "But I have a contract in Thailand that I want to fulfil.

"I didn't say I wanted to go back to Sunderland, sometimes in England you get mis-quoted.

"I haven't been offered the job at Sunderland and I will not take it if I am offered it. I haven't asked for the job at Sunderland.

"I have been there once and loved it, it's a great place but I am enjoying working here."

Asked about the initial reports, Worawi Makudi, president of the Football Association of Thailand, had earlier told PA Sport: "I don't think he will (leave)."

Questioned further about claims there is a clause in Reid's contract allowing him to return to England, Worawi replied: "For holiday, yes."

Sunderland chairman Niall Quinn and his fellow board members are understood to be assessing more than 30 serious candidates before meeting in the next 48 hours to reduce the field to a handful of contenders.

As a result, there is no guarantee an appointment will be made before Saturday's crucial home clash with bottom side West Brom, and that could mean an extended stay at the helm for coach Ricky Sbragia and assistants Neil Bailey and Dwight Yorke.

Keane's departure has prompted a deluge of applications from around the globe.

Former Black Cats defender and coach Sam Allardyce remains the bookmakers' favourite, but sources on Wearside have suggested he does not necessarily enjoy the same status with the men who will make the decision.

He and second favourite Alan Curbishley were in Sunderland's sights before Keane was appointed in August 2006, and are currently out of work following their respective departures from Newcastle and West Ham under very different circumstances.

But with American investor Ellis Short apparently taking a hands-on approach, there is a growing feeling that the Black Cats are taking a broader view this time around.

Former Chelsea boss Avram Grant is leading a list of overseas candidates in the betting stakes, with Martin Jol and Gerard Houllier hot on his heels, while reports over the weekend threw the unheralded NEC Nijmegen boss Mario Been's name into the ring.

Ex-England manager Steve McClaren, like Hull boss Phil Brown before him, today ruled himself out as he continues to rebuild his reputation in Holland with FC Twente.

If Sbragia does remain in charge for the weekend, he will send out a group of players boosted by a gritty display at Manchester United on Saturday, although it was still a seventh defeat in eight games.

Nemanja Vidic's injury-time winner denied them a point, but the character and organisation shown gave cause for optimism after a traumatic few days on Wearside.

However, goalkeeper Marton Fulop admits the sooner the situation is resolved, the better for all concerned.

He said: "The good thing now would be to get a replacement as soon as possible so we can move forward as a squad and a club and try to build some better results."

Fulop was also quick to deny claims that the players celebrated after learning Keane's reign had come to an end.

He told the Sunderland Echo: "Of course we didn't celebrate. Everyone was right behind the gaffer.

"I don't know why he left, but if we as players produced better results, then I guess he would still be here."

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