Blackpool boss McDonald still linked with Sunderland

Neil McDonald
Neil McDonald
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Rumours linking Blackpool manager Neil McDonald with a move to Sunderland refuse to go away.

McDonald’s long-term pal Sam Allardyce took charge at the Stadium of Light lastFriday and is yet to name his number two.

The Pool boss worked as Allardyce’s assistant at Bolton, Blackburn and, until May this year, at West Ham.

No-one from Bloomfield Road has been willing to comment on reports in the North-East suggesting that McDonald has been sounded out by Allardyce about renewing their partnership.

Addressing the media for the first time since his appointment, Allardyce spoke yesterday about his search.

“Getting in my assistant is a priority,” he said.

“I have a few irons in the fire but nothing definite as yet. I won’t disclose who it is.

“There’s a lot of speculation in the media, but until such time as I get a ‘yes’ from who I’m speaking to I won’t be disclosing it.

“Obviously I’ve spoken to who I’d like as my number two and we hope to get that done before the weekend.

“When I get my number two in, then I’ll be happy.”

If McDonald is set to walk away from Bloomfield Road after four and a half months, he showed no sign of it yesterday as he took training as normal and gave no-one around the club any hint his days were numbered.

The other two men consistently linked with the Wearside job, former Black Cats manager Peter Reid and Southend boss Phil Brown, both appeared to rule themselves out in the last 24 hours.

While there’s no indication McDonald is unhappy at Bloomfield Road, it is believed he has spoken casually to Allardyce in the last week about the role.

McDonald has been linked with a move away just as he finally appears to be turning Pool around following three successive victories.

The matter should be cleared up one way or another in the next 24 hours, with McDonald due to hold his weekly press conference at 
Bloomfield Road tomorrow morning.