Ex-Sunderland midfielder Kevin Kilbane thinks the decision to sack manager Martin O’Neill was a mistake.
There has been a certain level of surprise and controversy in the wake of Sunderland’s sacking of manager Martin O’Neill.
The Black Cats have failed to win in their last nine games and sit just one point out of the relegation zone, but with just seven games left some think it was the wrong time to get rid of the boss.
“I’m very surprised, it’s the wrong decision at the wrong time,” Kevin Kilbane said to the BBC.
“I doubt if a manager can come in now and really change things around until the end of the season.”
Kilbane played for Sunderland between 1999 and 2003, featuring 124 times for the club and scoring nine goals.
The north east side will now be looking to replace O’Neill as soon as possible, with the Black Cats facing difficult away ties to Chelsea and rivals Newcastle in the coming weeks.
Italian Paolo Di Canio, who left his post at Swindon in February, is the bookmakers favourite to fill the vacancy at the Stadium of Light.
Other out of work managers Steve McClaren, Mark Hughes and Roberto Di Matteo are also in the frame, with both Hughes and Di Matteo having already been sacked from Premier League clubs this season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who manages Norwegian champions Molde, and Brighton’s Gus Poyet make up the list of potential candidates for the Black Cats.
Kilbane is not the only former player who disagrees with O’Neill’s dismissal, with Michael Gray taking to Twitter to convey his disappointment.
So where do we go from here Sunderland? Do we just keep sacking managers or do we start pointing the finger at the players..!!!
— michael gray (@mickygray33) March 30, 2013
Sunderland’s next match is at Stamford Bridge on April 6.