Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ball Still Bouncing despite Trouncing

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Ball Still Bouncing despite Trouncing

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Kevin Ball's managerial ambitions remain intact after Sunderland's resilient caretaker-boss insisted last night that he will not allow his most painful experience in football to derail his promising coaching career.

The 41-year-old suffered the ultimate sporting angst four days ago as his relegated Black Cats team were condemned to a humiliating defeat at the hands of Newcastle but although he has found a 4-1 loss difficult to stomach, Ball is determined to emerge from the wreckage as a stronger person.

The derby debacle closely followed confirmation of the club's demotion on Good Friday and, given that the Wearsiders have won just two of the 18 points available to them since Mick McCarthy's departure, his short-term successor could not be blamed if he had changed his mind about wanting the job on a permanent basis.

But, as he demonstrated the kind of desire to succeed with which he established himself as one of the most-combative midfielders of his generation, Ball last night insisted that the experience has increased his appetite for the Stadium of Light post.

"It hasn't put me off and it hasn't knocked me back," said the former Sunderland skipper, who is keen to be considered as McCarthy's successor when his interim reign comes to an end at the end of the season. "It will make me stronger.

"When something like this happens you have to make a decision: Do you go away and crumble? Or do you go away and think `Christ, that makes me have more resolve, I want to do this, I want this job'? I think anyone who knows me will know which of these two things I will do."

Ball has had a positive impact on Sunderland's players and performances ( albeit without the end results ( have improved since McCarthy's dismissal.

No matter what he does during the remaining weeks of the campaign his efforts could be irrelevant. …

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