Kevin Phillips transfer request to Sunderland as he discusses major January decision

The search for the Black Cats’ next manager has dominated the headlines, but there are still important decisions to be made in the transfer market ahead of the January window.


Kevin Phillips interview: 'Why manage South Shields? Nobody else would have  me'




The focus may be on Sunderland’s manager search, but former striker Kevin Phillips believes the Black Cats and their potential new manager must make another important decision in the new year.

Following Tony Mowbray’s dismissal, Sunderland’s interim manager Mike Dodds has reignited the Wearsiders’ play-off aspirations with back-to-back wins over West Brom and Leeds United at the Stadium of Light.

Those performances have taken some of the sting off of the new manager hunt, with Dodds likely to return to the dugout for this weekend’s trip to Bristol City. While Kristjaan Speakman and his colleagues are right to prioritize the appointment, former South Shields manager Phillips pointed out another move that could have equally major ramifications at the end of the season.

“I still believe it’s a big decision in January.” Do you seek out that striker? A centre forward has yet to score [against Leeds United]. Jobe Bellingham cannot be classified as a center forward. But I’d like to see a genuine center forward come in and score some goals.”

Phillips was speaking to Sky Sports after Tuesday night’s 1-0 win over Leeds United, and he lauded the players’ attitude despite the distraction of the new manager search.

“You could see it in every department and with every player.” If you made a mistake, your friend would cover for you. It’s simply that passion and hunger, and if you listen to Luke O’Nien at the end of the match, he said they did it today for Doddsy and Michael Proctor.

“You can tell they have a good team spirit.” They want to win football games and believe they are capable of doing so. They were really close last season.”

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