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Wigan Athletic figure reiterates firm stance amid recent Sunderland reports

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Sunderland are expected to announce their new manager in the coming days with owner Stewart Donald said to have finished his interview process.

Sunderland are on the hunt for their 11th manager in a decade after relieving Jack Ross of his duties on the 8th October.

The front runners are currently former Bolton Wanderers manager Phil Parkinson and current Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth.

Another name that has been linked with the job since Ross’ departure is Wigan Athletic manager Paul Cook, who guided the Latics to the League One title in the 2017-2018 season.

It was Cook’s successful experience as Latics manager in the third tier and then keeping the club in the Championship that had reportedly made the Sunderland board keen to speak to him.

In answer to the speculation, speaking at a fans forum, quoted by the Sunderland Echo, Latics chief executive Jonathan Jackson said: “No club has been given permission to speak to our manager, a few clubs are looking for new managers and we have to respect their privacy.”

In clarifying their manager’s position, Wigan can look forward to focusing on Sunday’s home fixture against in form Nottingham Forest with fans relieved knowing their manager will be in the dugout.

The Latics are currently 19th in the Championship table and it looks like Cook will not be taking the step down a division to take the reigns at the Stadium of Light.

The Verdict

Wigan are right to turn down an approach for Paul Cook, who has overseen success at the club since taking over in May 2017.

He presided over taking the club back to the Championship following their relegation the previous season and enjoyed a memorable first season, winning the League One title and knocking Manchester City out of the FA Cup.

In his second season at the DW Stadium, he guided Wigan to 18th in the Championship table with three wins and two draws in their last five matches proving more than enough to secure survival.

Wigan have won three times and only lost once at home so far this season, proving that the DW Stadium will once again be a tough place to visit.

As for Sunderland, Phil Parkinson and Gareth Ainsworth remain the two front-runners. Whoever takes over will be tasked with one thing, to take Sunderland back to the Championship, something that Cook and Wigan know all about.

ScoopDragon Football News Network