The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: - By Rich Dore

BARNS­LEY boss Paul Heck­ing­bot­tom has dis­tanced him­self from spec­u­la­tion link­ing him with the va­cant man­ager’s role at Sun­der­land.

The strug­gling Black Cats gave Si­mon Grayson the boot this week af­ter a dis­as­trous start to the sea­son fol­low­ing rel­e­ga­tion from the top flight.

Heck­ing­bot­tom played for Sun­der­land in the early stages of his ca­reer and has im­pressed at the helm for Barns­ley – guid­ing them to ninth last sea­son.

But the 40-year-old in­sists his head has not been turned by his for­mer club.

“It’s part and par­cel of be­ing in foot­ball. When things go well, play­ers and coaches are linked with other clubs,” he said.

“It is flat­ter­ing when that hap­pens as it means we are do­ing well and are on the right track. I know a few peo­ple in the North East and they are the ones who have asked me about it, but that’s as far as it goes.

“I have had no con­tact with Sun­der­land and I am happy in Barns­ley.

“I’ve had umpteen op­por­tu­ni­ties to move away, but I’ve al­ways wanted to stay. Mov­ing is not in my head and I want to carry on with the job I’m do­ing.”

JOB: Paul Heck­ing­bot­tom

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