Sunderland caretaker boss Kevin Ball says he is not concerned by the amount of time the club is taking in appointing a new manager.
• Randall: Wishing United well
Ball stepped into the breach following the Black Cats’ decision to dispense with the services of Paolo Di Canio last month.
The former Sunderland defender has already declared an interest in taking the job full time, although ex-Brighton boss Gustavo Poyet is the favourite to land the role.
However, with no announcement forthcoming, Ball has been asked by the board to prepare the Black Cats for the visit of Manchester United on Saturday evening.
“I spoke to the board earlier this week but I wasn’t pressing them over the timing of the appointment,” he told the Sunderland Echo. “They said they wanted me to stay in charge and take the Manchester United game this weekend and that was fine by me.
“Some people might say it’s better to get these things sorted out quickly and I would understand that. But we do have a bit of time coming up to think about it and sort it out then and I’m fine with that.
“I’ve heard people saying that now’s a good time to play at Manchester United because their league form hasn’t been great and they’ve had a European match midweek, but I don’t read too much into that. We are talking about Manchester United here and they’ve always got a load of quality to throw at you.”
Although Ball’s brief time in charge of the first team has not garnered any Premier League points for Sunderland, he has been impressed with Italy international Emanuele Giaccherini.
“In the first game [against Peterborough] he did very well and scored after missing an opportunity,” he told the club’s official website. “Against Liverpool you could see what he did, coming in off the line to play in the middle a bit more. Ki [Sung-Yeung] saw an excellent shot saved and if you watch the footage back, Giaccherini is looking to see what happens and then follows in.
“That’s something I’m a big believer in. If you’re a defender, follow in on your ‘keeper to support him, and if you’re an attacker, follow in on shots because you never know. Sometimes the easiest opportunities are when you follow in on the ‘keeper and for whatever reason he can’t keep hold of the ball. Then you can stroke the ball into an empty net and we saw Giaccherini do that. I thought it was great [for him to score] because he worked tremendously hard.”