Sunderland have recently parted company with Tony Mowbray and now look set to put a new managerial candidate under the microscope at the Stadium of Light.
Sunderland search for a new manager…
Earlier this week, Sunderland took the decision to part company with Mowbray after a run of just one victory in their last five matches in the Championship, which has left the North East-based outfit ninth in the league standings with 28 points from 19 matches played.
As cited by Sky Sports, Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman has detailed why the Black Cats chose to take this step, saying:
“After arriving at an uncertain time, he helped guide us to the Championship play-offs and played an important role in developing our team. This was a difficult decision to make, but we remain loyal to our ambition and our strategy, and felt that now was the right moment to take this step.”
Of course, speculation will now duly run wild as Sunderland search for a replacement. Reims manager Will Still and Ipswich Town boss Kieran McKenna have been named as two early candidates for the role, with both believed to fill the Black Cats’ vision of a young emerging coach to succeed Mowbray.
However, as per the latest developments, Sunderland are now set to meet with a highly-regarded boss as they explore different options ahead of making a potential appointment.
Sunderland pencil in Kim Hellberg talks…
As per Fotbollskanalen, Sunderland are set to meet with IFK Varnamo boss Kim Hellberg over the managerial vacancy at the Stadium of Light on Thursday. Formerly of Dagsbergs IF as a player, he is set to become a free agent as his contract expires at the end of 2023 in the south of Sweden.
Hellberg, 35, has only ever managed in his native Sweden; however, he is highly regarded in his homeland and led his side to a fifth-placed finish in the Allsvenskan in 2023. His promising work hasn’t gone unnoticed, with IFK Norrkoping and Hammarby also believed to be keen on his services.
Fitting the bill as a young coach with a growing reputation, Hellberg prefers his sides to operate within an attacking 4-3-3 formation and he has amassed a points-per-game average of 1.38 over 64 matches in charge at Finnvedsvallen (Hellberg managerial statistics – Transfermarkt).
Conceivably, Hellberg could be making quite the leap by swapping the Swedish top-flight for a club with the historical pedigree of Sunderland; nevertheless, he may relish the challenge of being able to prove his managerial capabilities in the North East.