Sunderland chairman Ellis Short is deeply engaged in the search for a new manager as fans' favourite Martin O'Neill emerged as a strong favourite to replace Steve Bruce.
Former Aston Villa boss O'Neill and Mark Hughes, who left Fulham in June, were swiftly installed at the top of the bookmakers' lists after Bruce's departure was confirmed on Wednesday night.
However, while bookmakers were quoting Hughes at 4/7 favourite, Press Association Sport understands that Irishman O'Neill is the man who enjoys greater support within the boardroom at the Stadium of Light.
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