Optus Sport Expert Michael Bridges has confirmed he was in contact with League Two club Carlisle United in November over their managerial vacancy.

Speaking on the English Football Show on Tuesday, the 41-year-old confirmed he is on his way to completing his coaching badges and was in the running to take charge of the Cumbrians last month.

“It was nice to be contacted by Carlisle United Football Club,” Bridges said.

“I flew over there to go and put myself in the hotseat and had an interview with the club, sadly I missed out this time but it was great experience to go over and be thought about.”

A former Premier League striker with Sunderland and Leeds United, Bridges said he is looking forward to a new challenge as he goes through his coaching badges.

On Sunderland’s recent dip in form, Bridges offered a damning assessment of the club and called on big changes to be made if the Black Cats are to have ambitions of climbing back up the leagues.

Currently languishing in 12th position in League One and nine points adrift of automatic promotion, Sunderland are in arguably the worst position in the club’s history having been in the Premier League as recently as 2017.

While Bridges was hopeful of a bright future coming from the academy, he admitted the club is in a poor spell and needs drastic changes in order to turn it around.

“The actual academy itself, there was a fantastic feel about it – they’ve got some really good youngsters coming through,” Bridges said.

“The atmosphere at the senior level just didn’t feel right, there was something very, very toxic about the place,

“I think it is in a really, really bad state and probably one of the worst states it’s been in the clubs history.”

On the decade special of the English Football Show, Bridges added his highlight of the last 10 years has been the introduction of Europe’s best managers to the Premier League.

“I’ve really enjoyed where we have seen the massive influx of foreign coaches coming to the Premier League’s, like your Klopp’s, your Pep Guardiola’s,” Bridges said.

“Now we’re starting to finally see that some of the English coaches are having to step up once again to prove themselves.”




Nick Hughes