Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce is calling for more opportunities for home-grown managers.

Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce backs a "Rooney Rule" for home-grown managers

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Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce has called for the introduction of a "Rooney Rule" to allow home-grown managers the chance to compete with foreign imports in English football.

The vastly-experienced 61-year-old will go head-to-head with one of the Barclays Premier League's newest overseas recruits on Wednesday evening when German Jurgen Klopp takes his Liverpool side to the Stadium of Light.

Allardyce has grown increasingly concerned at the lack of opportunities for British managers, something which has become a pet topic over the years, and he believes the situation has reached a stage where the authorities must act to level the playing field.

He said: "The problem for me is we are denying British coaches positions in all divisions now, particularly in the top division and the Championship, and we need to do something about that.

"As a country, as the FA, as the Premier League, we need to protect the position of our own highly-qualified coaches who are not even getting an interview now.

"What we could do is make sure that a British coach is interviewed for every position, a bit like the Rooney Rule.

"It would be a fantastic idea because there are so many coaches out there who are highly-qualified, have spent a huge amount of money qualifying and have a great amount of experience and are not even getting the opportunity to do the job in their own country as they should be."

The Rooney Rule was adopted by the NFL in America to ensure at least one black or minority ethnic candidate is interviewed for every head coach vacancy in an attempt to address the lack of representation from those groups.

Allardyce's more immediate concern, however, is for his own club with Sunderland languishing inside the Barclays Premier League relegation zone on the back of four successive defeats, a run which has left them five points adrift of safety.

Their current haul of just 12 points from 18 games is close to the point where he believes their task would become near-impossible, and that is something he knows they need to start putting right now with time fast running out.

Allardyce said: "The gap between games and points cannot get into double figures. That would be a huge task. You'd be asking a club to win three or four games on the trot.

"It's happened at this club, it's happened to many, many clubs, but it's not the position you want to be in as a manager, having to win four games out of six when you have never done it in the entire season.

"For us, it's about making sure we keep the gap and close that gap consistently over the Christmas and New Year period, where we chip away and chip a point here and a point back there and we start closing that gap as quickly as we can.

"It's exactly what I did at Blackburn when I got there and by the time there were two games left, we were safe. That's the best way to do it and it does relieve the pressure if you do it like that, chipping away here and there and not looking for miraculous runs of results."

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