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 By PA Sport

Sunderland appoint Billy McKinlay, Robbie Stockdale in interim charge

Billy McKinlay
Billy McKinlay will work alongside Robbie Stockdale as caretaker boss of Sunderland.

Billy McKinlay and Robbie Stockdale have been placed in interim charge of Sunderland after Simon Grayson was sacked.

Sunderland, currently in the Championship relegation zone, are searching for their 11th permanent manager in less than nine years having axed Grayson following Tuesday's 3-3 home draw with fellow strugglers Bolton.

Ahead of the Tees-Wear derby with Middlesbrough on Sunday, ex-Boro defender Stockdake and former Watford boss McKinlay have been installed as joint caretakers.

Stockdale is the first-team coach at the Stadium of Light while McKinlay was recently brought on board by Grayson having previously worked on coaching staffs at Fulham, Watford and Real Sociedad.

McKinlay had an eight-day stint in charge of Watford in 2014 and his team took four points from two games before he was surprisingly replaced by Slavisa Jokanovic.

In confirming their new caretakers, Sunderland also said on their official website that "a further announcement regarding the vacant manager's position will be made in due course."

Sunday's encounter with Boro is the final one before the international break so Stockdale and McKinlay's tenure could be a short one.

Grayson's exit, after just 18 games in charge, was confirmed barely 24 hours after he claimed he deserved a chance to put things right.

However, the cash-strapped club have made a change given they are currently in danger of becoming just the third team in the Premier League era to suffer successive relegations out of the top two tiers.

Sunderland chief executive Martin Bain said: "Simon and his team have worked tirelessly to achieve the best for the football club during their time here.

"While we hoped that Simon's experience in the Football League would help us to a successful season, results have not been good enough for a club of this stature. In order for us to improve upon our current position, we believe a fundamental change is necessary.''

Sunderland have not won in 13 Championship games and last recorded a home victory 11 months ago against Watford in the Premier League.

They currently reside in the drop zone having taken only 10 points from their 15 fixtures to date and have won just one league game all season.

Bain, on behalf of owner Ellis Short, will now launch the search for a 10th permanent manager since Roy Keane left the club in December 2008.

Grayson left Preston in the summer after a spell that lasted for more than four years to become David Moyes' successor at the Stadium of Light.

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