Gus Poyet will have to personally convince Ellis Short he is the right man for the Sunderland job before his appointment is confirmed.

The Black Cats' billionaire owner has been advised to give Poyet the job by director of football Roberto De Fanti but wants thorough checks on his character and footballing philosophy before signing off on the deal.

Poyet is a red-hot favourite to get the job by the end of the week but Short has insisted on keeping him waiting while he thinks all options through.

On Wednesday Poyet said: “My opportunity to manage Sunderland is there. I’m waiting. Nervously.

“Since the start of the season I’ve dedicated myself to watching the games of teams that might call me if things weren’t going too well.”

Caretaker manager Kevin Ball is likely to take charge against Liverpool on Sunday.

Sunderland players have been told to bring a bit of fun back to training without abandoning the work ethic instilled by sacked boss Paolo Di Canio.

Ball impressed with his assured handling of the Capital One Cup win over Peterborough on Tuesday and says he will continue as caretaker as long as he is wanted.

He said of his methods: "I like them to work extremely hard. I'm one of these sort of people who would say 'Listen there is a time and a place to have a joke and a laugh. but there's also a time to be serious.'

"If it's their time and they want to have a bit of a laugh I'll let them do it.

"If it's my time and they want to have a bit of a laugh and it's right I'll do it.

"But if I felt it was a time to work hard then I would say the same again. I would expect them to be just like that.

"The way I like to do things will stay the same. It is important you get a two-way conversation with the team and the players - ultimately when they cross the white line they have to be buying into what we want.

"I'm possibly only here until Sunday. I will pick what I think is the right team to play the game. But what I'll also do is speak to all the players and I'll explain why.

"Ultimately some will be 'OK no problem!' and others might be quite upset.