Sunderland have vented their anger at the FA following reports Sam Allardyce will be appointed England manager in the next 24 hours.
It is understood the 61-year-old will be announced as Roy Hodgson’s successor on Thursday, but the Black Cats, who revealed disquiet over the process last week, were largely keeping their own counsel on Wednesday night.
In a statement released minutes after their 3-0 friendly victory at Hartlepool, the club said: “Naturally we are aware of the intense media speculation this evening, however, at the present time Sam Allardyce remains Sunderland manager.
“We share in the anger and frustration of our supporters and would like to assure them that we are working to conclude the matter in the best interests of Sunderland AFC.”
Allardyce arrived at Victoria Park on the team coach shortly after 6pm and after signing autographs, watched the first half from the dugout.
With his side 3-0 up through Jermain Defoe’s double either side of a Wahbi Khazri strike, he changed the entire XI at the break, but did not return to the bench and is understood to have left the stadium at around 9pm in order to avoid having to speak to the press.