Ex-Leeds United managers 'among favourites' for Sunderland next manager role after Tony Mowbray sacking
Ex-Leeds United managers Neil Warnock and Paul Heckingbottom have been named among the early favourites to take over at the Whites' Championship rivals Sunderland following the sacking of Tony Mowbray on Monday night.
Warnock has been out of work since leaving Huddersfield Town earlier this season while Heckingbottom is widely expected to be dismissed from his role as Sheffield United manager following a difficult start to the Premier League season.
Former Birmingham City boss John Eustace is the early frontrunner for the Black Cats vacancy, while Nathan Jones has also been tipped as a contender after turning down the chance to manage Rotherham United. Jones has also been linked with the Swansea City vacancy after they parted ways with Michael Duff on Monday night.
Warnock has an impressive record in the Championship and has claimed numerous promotions from the division. He rescued Huddersfield from relegation last term and penned a one-year extension to his initial short-term deal before being replaced by Darren Moore at the John Smith's Stadium. He has previously insisted he is not ready to retire, having managed several sides in the EFL and Premier League.
However it remains to be seen if he can be tempted back into management at this moment in time, as he told Sky Sports last month he was keen to take a job after Christmas. He said: "If there is another one (job) after Christmas, I will take it on board. I don't work until February; it is usually February when I start work! It would be nice to have a club sort of mid-table that I could have a go at getting in the play-offs rather than somebody bottom of the league or second from bottom and I've got to just keep them up."
Heckingbottom is expected to be sacked by Sheffield United following a 5-0 loss to Burnley last weekend but a swift return to management could be on the cards if the Sunderland job proves a good fit for all parties. Heckingbottom had a short spell in charge at Elland Road between February 2018 and June 2018 but he won just four of 16 games in charge, and was sacked at the end of the 2017-18 campaign.