Barnsley and Shrewsbury bosses discuss Sunderland vacancy

Paul Heckingbottom
Paul Heckingbottom

Paul Heckingbottom insists that the the Barnsley job still ‘fully satisfies’ him after being linked with the vacant Sunderland post.

Heckingbottom spent four years with the Black Cats as a youngster and is highly regarded after stunning success in his short time at Oakwell so far.

“Yes, undoubtedly so [I’m satisfied],” said Heckingbottom. .

“Over the years, whether I was a kid, a player, a coach, or working with the first team, there’s been umpteen opportunities to go elsewhere, but I’ve always chosen to stay here, and that’s been down to me at the time.

“Everybody knows what I think of the place. As a team, we carry on.

“We have to take (the interest) as a positive because it shows we are doing something right and that’s how I look at it.

“Other than being asked about it now, it’s not even in my head so that’s as far as it goes.”

Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst also said he was flattered to be linked with the role.

Hurst has taken his side from relegation battlers to top of League One this season and was suggested to be interested in the role yesterday.

He said: “I’m ambitious, I want to manage as high as possible.

“But you can’t help speculation. It’s very much mind on the job in hand and hopefully getting through to the (FA Cup) second round.”

Sunderland are thought to be searching for an experienced manager, with former Rangers boss Ally McCoist and ex-Boro chief Aitor Karanka heavily linked with the post.

Another name linked is ex-Rangers and Scotland boss Alex McLeish, who has managed in the Championship before, and had Birmingham promoted on a limited budget.