Black Cat contenders
We look at the contenders to take their reins at Sunderland following Steve Bruce's sacking.
Last Updated: 01/12/11 3:58pm
MARTIN O'NEILL - 8/15
Poll votes: 40%
Former Celtic boss O'Neill has been strongly linked with a series of posts since leaving Aston Villa nearly 18 months ago. However, the Wearside post could be the perfect chance for the Northern Ireland boss given the stable financial position of the club and their sizeable fan base, while his impressive CV makes him a prime candidate.
MARK HUGHES 5/4
Poll votes: 14%
Former Blackburn, Manchester City and Fulham boss Hughes seems among the more popular candidates amongst the Stadium of Light faithful. However, he may eventually prove to be in the frame to replace the late Gary Speed as Wales boss for a second term.
RAFA BENITEZ 10/1
Poll votes: 14%
Former UEFA Champions League winner Benitez is thought to be eager to return to management and has repeatedly spoken of his intention to continue his career in England. Whether a relegation battle in the North East is what he has in mind is another question, however.
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER 16/1
Poll votes: 12%
Lacks the experience of many of the other contenders but has shown promise in winning the Norwegian domestic title with his former club Molde. The one-time Manchester United striker also commands plenty of respect in England following his time in the Premier League and has been tipped as a possible successor to Sir Alex Ferguson, with a lower-profile Premier League post potentially the ideal stepping-stone.
LEE CLARK 16/1
Poll votes: 4%
The most controversial candidate would undoubtedly be passionate Geordie Clark. Currently cultivating a stellar managerial reputation in charge of League One Huddersfield, Clark crossed the Tyne-Wear divide as a player only to leave on bitter terms and would represent a brave choice.
BOB BRADLEY 25/1
Former United States national team boss Bradley has been linked with the position in recent days largely due to his nationality, with Sunderland's owner and chairman Ellis Short a fellow American. He was linked with Aston Villa over the summer prior to the appointment of Alex McLeish.
ERIC BLACK 25/1
Scotsman Black has been Bruce's assistant at both Birmingham and Sunderland but has managerial experience in his own right from his time in charge at Coventry. However, he would represent a low-profile choice and would be unlikely to appease the majority of disgruntled supporters.
Please note: Prices subject to change.