Sunderland made the somewhat surprising decision to sack Jack Ross from the managerial post at the Stadium of Light on Tuesday afternoon.
Ross took charge of the Black Cats in 2018, and guided them to the League One Play-Off Final last season at Wembley.
But he was unable to go one step further than that, as they fell to a defeat against Charlton Athletic in one of the biggest games of his managerial career.
Sunderland haven’t started this year’s league campaign as they would have hoped for either, with Ross leaving them sixth in the League One table.
They were beaten 2-0 by Lincoln City at Sincil Bank on Saturday, which proved to have been the final nail in the coffin for the former St Mirren boss.
Sunderland will be hoping to have Ross’ replacement appointed in the coming weeks, with the international break upon us.
We look at THREE managers that Sunderland must avoid in their search to find Ross’ replacement.
This might come as a surprising one, but it seems as though Ainsworth would be a manager that would divide the Sunderland fan base.
The Wycombe boss has guided his side to second in the League One table so far this season, and is likely to want to finish the project that he started with them after such a positive spell in charge to date.
It would come as a surprise to see him wanting to move to Sunderland, where the pressure would be on him from the first whistle to produce positive results.
Whereas at Wycombe, Ainsworth doesn’t have that pressure, and it remains to be seen as to how he would deal with that pressure of being in charge of such a reputable club like Sunderland.
There are better and more experienced options out there for Sunderland over the coming weeks.
Poyet is a manager that Sunderland fans will know all about, and even though he knows the club well, this wouldn’t be a smart appointment.
He took charge of the Black Cats back in 2013, and wasn’t the worst of managers that Sunderland have had in recent years.
Poyet managed them for two seasons in the Premier League, but Sunderland need a manager with fresh ideas, who is going to be able to get positive results out of a group of players that are struggling so far this season.
The new manager can’t afford to waste anytime in trying to experiment with his squad.
Clement’s last spell in football management was an inspiring time with Reading in the Championship.
Clement struggled to contain the dressing room at the Madejski Stadium as the Royals struggled to stay afloat in the second-tier of English football.
Sunderland need a manager that isn’t going to be a risk, and Clement would certainly be one of those heading into such a crucial period of this year’s campaign.