Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Old Boy Sam Is the Man for Cats

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Old Boy Sam Is the Man for Cats

Article excerpt

Byline: By Paul Gilder

Bolton boss Sam Allardyce has replaced Martin O'Neill as Niall Quinn's preferred choice to take charge at the Stadium of Light after rising to the head of Sunderland's managerial shortlist.

But the Irishman's chances of prising the 51-year-old away from the Reebok Stadium appear slim ( with his club determined to retain his services and Allardyce understood to be unreceptive to the idea.

Quinn's Drumaville consortium had hoped to appoint Mick McCarthy's successor in time for him to take charge of this week's Black Cats training camp at the University of Bath.

And, having lost patience with O'Neill, the long-standing first choice who has yet to make any decision on his future employment, the club's incoming board have turned their attentions elsewhere.

Although O'Neill's name is still on the three-man shortlist, along with that of Roy Keane, it is no longer at the top. Quinn will now focus his efforts on attempting to secure the services of Allardyce, but it seems a strategy fraught with problems.

The Bolton boss has played for and coached Sunderland during the course of his career but, as Newcastle have discovered in recent times, his current club will resist any attempts to lure him away.

Allardyce has still got four years to run on a 10-year contract at the Reebok Stadium and Trotters chairman Phil Gartside is determined not to lose of one of Premiership football's most highly-regarded managerial talents. Even if Quinn was able to persuade Bolton to grant him permission to speak to Allardyce (pictured, right) ( Gartside would demand a seven-figure compensation package ( persuading the former Black Cats captain to head back to Wearside would be fraught with difficulties.

A leading contender for the England job, Allardyce's reluctance to drop into the Championship would be understandable. …

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