Barnsley head coach Paul Heckingbottom has told the Yorkshire Post that there is no truth in reports linking him to the job at Sunderland.

Sunderland have had a terrible start to life in Sky Bet Championship and they are currently 22nd in the league, only picking up one win in 15 games. This led to the sacking of Simon Grayson, someone who only got appointed as their head coach back in the summer following the resignation of David Moyes. And now the search is on to find the man who can stop Sunderland suffering from a double relegation.

One name that has been mentioned is Heckingbottom’s. He has done a brilliant job with Barnsley, firstly getting them promoted from Sky Bet League One and then establishing them in the Championship, even looking like they would challenge for the play-offs at times. But despite these links, Heckingbottom has denied that he will soon be switching South Yorkshire to Teesside.

He said: “We had it last season and it’s part and parcel of the game.”

“When things are going well that’s what you want, if next January there’s X, Y, Z clubs linked with our players then it means we’re doing something right.”

“It’s flattering in that respect that things are going well and you can do a job, but other than that, that is it.”

“People in the north east, who I already know, are the first to have spoken to me about it. “Other than being asked about it now, it’s not even in my head so that’s as far as it goes.”

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